Nadal will square off against friend Feliciano Lopez.

Rafael Nadal got to work with his 2011 Sony Ericsson Open campaign Saturday night, defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4, 6-4 in the second round. The two-time Sony Ericsson Open runner up felt he played a complete match and was satisfied with the way he served. “I’m very happy about how I played. I think I played at a high level tonight,” Nadal said. “The feeling was better than last week, so that’s important. My serve worked very well at the end of the match.” In the third round, Nadal will square off against friend Feliciano Lopez. Though he’s defeated his compatriot in six of their eight meetings, he knows Lopez has the ability to play superior tennis. “I know it’s going to be a difficult match because he has a very good serve, good volley, and he’s very dangerous… but if I play well I’ll have my chances.”

Nadal intends to approach his match against Lopez with an assertive game plan. “I have to play aggressive with my forehand, try to move him, and go to the net when I have the chance,” explained Nadal.

Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych required three sets to get past Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, but came through 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-0 to advance into the third round. The No. 7 seed overpowered his opponent in the first and third sets, winning 24 of 25 service points. Up next for the Czech is Argentinean Carlos Berlocq, a three-set winner over No. 28 seed Ernests Gulbis.

Janko Tipsarevic upset 18th seeded Marin Cilic in a late day-session match, winning 6-3, 7-6(4). The win gave the spirited Serb his first win over the Croat, after losing their first five meetings, all on hard courts. Awaiting Tipsarevic in the third round is Philipp Petzschner, who took out doubles partner Jurgen Melzer, the No. 10 seed, 6-3, 6-4.


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