Chennai, Jan 4:Top-seeded Rafael Nadal was an easy second-round winner Thursday at the season-opening Chennai Open tennis tournament.
The reigning three-time French Open champion and two-time Wimbledon runner-up Nadal blew past American qualifier Rajeev Ram 6-2, 6-1 in 69 minutes on the hardcourts at SDAT Tennis Stadium.Nadal's quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who came from behind to knock out seventh-seeded Austrian Werner Eschauer 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) on Day 4 here. In other second-round play, Croat Marin Cilic dismissed fifth-seeded Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-2, 6-4 and Dutchman Robin Haase handled Croatian qualifier Lovro Zovko 6-1, 7-5. Cilic and Haase will lock horns in the quarters.
The other round-of-eight matchups will pit third-seeded Spaniard Carlos Moya against France's Florent Serra and fourth-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny versus reigning Chennai champion Xavier Malisse of Belgium. Malisse topped Austrian Stefan Koubek in last year's finale here. Moya is a two-time Chennai titlist (2004-05) and was the runner-up here two years ago.
Chennai serves as a tune-up for the Australian Open, which will get underway January 14.