>Rafael Nadal has had a routine round two match against Taylor Dent, defeating the American 6-2, 7-5. The opening set was essentially one way traffic for the Spaniard as Dent struggled on serve, and had even more difficultly stringing consecutive points together.
In the first set Dent frequently over-played, trying early to find a way to penetrate the Nadal game. Error after error came off Dent’s racquet and in almost 30 minutes Nadal had wrapped up the first set.
Dent found his way in the second set, finding his first serve along the way. He broke Nadal for a 4-2 lead after and incredibly sloppy game from the Spaniard, however, the world number one wasted no time breaking back. From that point Dent only managed to win one more game. Nadal put the break down to Dent’s impressive service power. “It happens when I play against big servers like Taylor. The match was close, and I was waiting to have my chance, but you are out of the rhythm from the baseline because he’s not giving you the long point. It’s difficult to have feel for the ball.”
At one point Dent threw down an incredible 149mph service ace, but struggled with his second serve, winning only 32% of these point. It may have been an uninspiring match from Dent (who seems to have added more than a few kilos) but we have to remember that most people look like novices against Nadal and Federer. Dent has previously suffered from a serious back injury that required surgery and kept him off the courts for over a year.
The win marks Rafa’s 35th win in 37 matches over recent weeks. His only losses were at Queens and Toronto last week.
Despite his success in recent weeks Nadal will struggle as always at the US Open, with his serve lacking the bite to really penetrate the court.
Nadal next faces Julien Benneteau.