Nadal and Federer advance in Monte Carlo

Rafael Nadal began his bid for a record fifth successive title at the Monte Carlo Masters today with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Juan Ignacio Chela.

Second seed Roger Federer, who has lost the last three finals to Nadal, also advanced to the third round with a straight-sets win over Andreas Seppi.

Chela had beaten Nadal just once in five previous meetings and the Argentinian - ranked 167 in the world - soon found himself trailing 4-0 to the Spaniard.

Nadal then faltered slightly, allowing Chela to pull a break back in game five.

The world number one also found himself facing three break points in the seventh, but staved off the threat with some powerful forehands before taking the opening set.

Nadal also made a flying start to the second set, opening up a 3-0 cushion.

Chela managed to break back in game five, but his fightback was short-lived as the Spaniard immediately regained his advantage to lead 4-2.

The rest of the set went with serve, with Nadal assured of the win when Chela pushed his forehand wide.

Newly-wed Federer overcame a shaky start to beat Seppi 6-4 6-4.

Federer, who married long-time girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec at the weekend, had never dropped a set to the Italian in four previous meetings but was slow to find his rhythm today in his opening match on clay.

Federer eventually adjusted to the surface though, and gained the edge with a break in game nine before wrapping up the first set on serve.

Another break followed at the start of the second, and it proved decisive as the world number two went on to claim victory in one hour and 23 minutes.

"I thought it was a pretty good start on clay," Federer said. "It's a matter of getting used to it and not making too many errors.

"It was frustrating at times, but I had a good stretch at the end of the first set and the beginning of the second. I'm happy I'm through."

Federer will now face 13th seed and Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, who was made to work hard for his 2-6 7-5 6-2 over Argentina's Martin Vassallo Arguello.

Spain enjoyed further success in the tournament today with seventh seed Fernando Verdasco easing past Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-3 6-4, while Albert Montanes was a 6-2 6-4 victor over local wild card Jean-Rene Lisnard.

Nikolay Davydenko, the eighth seed, won his second-round match with Ivo Karlovic 6-4 6-3 and Italy's Simone Bolelli overcame Janko Tipsarevic 7-5 6-3.

Twelfth seed David Nalbandian battled back from a set down to beat Spain's Marcel Granollers 4-6 6-3 6-1.

Italian qualifier Fabio Fognini upset 14th seed Marin Cilic 6-2 6-0 to set up a third-round clash with world number four Andy Murray.

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