Nadal beats Ferrer in straight sets at ATP Finals

The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- Top-ranked Rafael Nadal made a winning return at the ATP World Tour Finals, cruising past fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-3, 6-2 Tuesday in his first round-robin match.

Playing for the first time in two years at the season-ending tournament, Nadal traded breaks early in the match. Then his serve improved and he dictated play from the baseline and forced the third-ranked Ferrer into numerous errors. Nadal converted six of seven break points.

Nadal is bidding to win the elite event for the first time. He'll maintain the year-end No. 1 spot if he wins a second match at O2 Arena.

He claimed his 21st win in 26 matches against Ferrer - but only his first indoors - and avenged his loss in their Paris Masters semifinal last week.

''He played a lot better than me in Paris, but today I played a little bit better than him and it's important for my confidence to start with a victory after Paris,'' Nadal said ''There is no rest, but the energy of this stadium is fantastic.''

Nadal and Ferrer play in Group A, alongside Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat Tomas Berdych in his opening match on Monday. No. 2 Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, playing later Tuesday, are in Group B with Juan Martin del Potro and Richard Gasquet.

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