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Barcelona, Apr 24 (EFE).- Spain's Rafael Nadal kicked off his quest for an eighth title at the Barcelona Open by scoring a routine 6-4, 6-2 victory Wednesday over Carlos Berlocq, while four-time finalist David Ferrer was stunned in the second round.
Nadal started strong to take a 3-0 first-set lead and got another service break in the 10th game to thwart the Argentine's bid to tie the set at 5-5.
The second set was a smoother ride for the world No. 5, who raced out to a 5-2 lead and finally clinched victory on his sixth match point by breaking Berlocq's serve for the fourth time.
Next up for Nadal in Thursday's round of 16 will be the winner of the match between France's Benoit Paire and Spain's Pablo Andujar.
With his victory on Wednesday, Nadal avoided the upset bug that took down top seed David Ferrer, who fell to Russia's Dmitry Tursunov 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 earlier Wednesday.
Nadal has won this clay-court event seven times dating back to 2005 and defeated Ferrer in the final in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.
The Barcelona Open is a key tune-up for the French Open, which gets underway next month.