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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Nadal comes through testing start
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal
Nadal is looking to add to his three French Open titles
French Open champion Rafael Nadal came through a tricky encounter with American Mardy Fish to reach round two at Wimbledon.

The Spanish clay-court expert, who reached the final last year, gave further proof of his ability on grass with a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 victory.

Fish serve-volleyed well but only briefly threatened in the second set.

"I played very, very good today," said Nadal. "I felt very comfortable on court but it is my first match."

Fourth seed Novak Djokovic made short work of Italy's Potito Starace in Wednesday's final Centre Court match.

Not ideal to play Andreev in the first round but to get through is a really good feeling

James Blake

The 20-year-old Serb, who reached the fourth round in 2006, won 6-0 6-3 6-4 to make the second round.

Djokovic swept through the first set with ease and was on course for a simple win before Starace broke back in the third set.

But it was a momentary lapse and Djokovic broke again in game nine to take victory in one hour 35 minutes.

James Blake enjoyed a fine 6-3 6-4 6-4 win over Russia's Igor Andreev in Tuesday's opening match on Court One.

The American ninth seed has never been past the third round at Wimbledon and had been expected to struggle against the resurgent Andreev, but it was not the case.

"I felt like it was a tough draw to start out with," said Blake. "Andreev is an excellent player - huge forehand, big serve.

"Not ideal to play him in the first round but to get through is a really good feeling."

Ivan Ljubicic, seeded 15th and another man not always comfortable on grass, made the second round with a 6-4 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-4) defeat of American Vince Spadea.

Seventh seed Tomas Berdych beat Nicolas Massu 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-2, 12th seed Richard Gasquet defeated Bohdan Ulihrach 6-3 6-4 6-4, and 2002 finalist David Nalbandian saw off Mischa Zverev 6-3 6-4 6-2.

Marat Safin had a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5 win over Rik de Voest but admitted he is generally low on confidence.

"Even if you're playing bad, you win a couple of matches, then you might have a surprise and start to play well and you start to make some results," he said.

"I'll play the next match, and I face Federer in the third round. That's my goal, and then see how it's going to go."

Nikolay Davydenko triumphed in his all-Russian battle with Evgeny Korolev, winning in straight sets 7-6 (14-12) 6-4 7-5.

And in one of the day's final matches, finishing after 2100 BST, 10th seed Marcos Baghdatis, who reached the semi-finals last year, beat Ernest Gulbis 3-6 6-4 6-3 6-2 on the Latvian's Wimbledon debut.

Fish v Nadal as it happened
26 Jun 07 |  Tennis


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