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21 February 2024

Nadal sweeps past Sela in Miami, Dimitrov toppled

Spain's Rafael Nadal serves the ball to Australia's Samuel Groth during their men's first round match at the Roland Garros 2016 French Tennis Open in Paris on May 24, 2016. (AFP)


Rafael Nadal cruised past Israeli Dudi Sela in the second round of the Miami Open while Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic also enjoyed comfortable victories as the top seeds got underway.

But there was an upset for ninth-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who was beaten by 158th ranked Argentine Guido Pella, and for France’s 11th seeded Lucas Pouille who was defeated by American Donald Young, ranked 51st in the world.

With plenty of backing from the South Florida crowd, Nadal never looked in trouble against the 83rd ranked Sela as he ran out 6-3, 6-4 winner in one hour and 20 minutes.

Rain delays earlier in the day pushed back Nadal's appearance on court and gusty conditions also made it tricky for the former world number one.

"It has been very tough and long day for everyone I think. Rain delay a couple of times and then the wind was very, very high," he said. "So it was difficult to find the right feelings but on these kind of days what you have to do is try to win. That's what I did, and I am very happy with that."

The Spaniard is looking to win his first Miami title after losing in the final four times in his career.

"I was close enough four times in my career. I am going to try to give myself more chances during this year and during the next couple years. But this tournament is a tough tournament and anything can happen," he added.

Japanese second seed Nishikori beat big-serving South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-3 on center court and will face Fernando Verdasco of Spain.