NEWYORK (Reuters) – Defending champion Rafa Nadal eased into the third round of the U.S. Open with a regulation 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over unseeded Vasek Pospisil on Wednesday.
A fresh-looking Nadal, whose first round match was cut short after his opponent David Ferrer retired with a calf injury, started brightly against the Canadian and never looked back.
The Spaniard wrapped up the opening set in 35 minutes after breaking early to go 3-0 up as Pospisil, ranked 88th in the world, struggled to settle into a serving rhythm.
The Canadian rallied briefly in the second set, improving his first serve percentage and managing to break Nadal to lead briefly, but the world number one broke back immediately and went on to win four games in a row to seize complete control.
“In the second set I had two games in a row where I had trouble with my serve,” Nadal said in a courtside interview. “The first one I saved, the second one I couldn’t. I was lucky to be able to break back.
“To win in straight sets is always positive.”
Nadal started the third set on the front foot, breaking early once again as Pospisil ran out of steam. The Spaniard wrapped the contest in exactly two hours, and will next face Russia’s Karen Khachanov, the 27th seed.
(Reporting by Simon Jennings; Editing by John O’Brien)