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Nadal dispatches Nishikori in straight sets

World number one Rafael Nadal made light work of Japan's Kei Nishikori in his Wimbledon opener.
World number one Rafael Nadal made light work of Japan's Kei Nishikori in his Wimbledon opener.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rafael Nadal beats Kei Nishikori of Japan in straight sets on Centre Court
  • Nadal was playing his first match at Wimbledon since winning 2008 final
  • Spaniard will now play Dutchman Robin Haase in second round

(CNN) -- Rafael Nadal bludgeoned his way past Japan's Kei Nishikori in his first match at Wimbledon since beating Roger Federer in their epic 2008 men's singles final.

Nadal, who could not defend his title last year because of knee injuries, is clearly back to his best and wasted little time in beating Nishikori 6-2 6-4 6-4 in just over two hours.

"It was a special moment coming back to Centre Court," the Spaniard told the BBC after his routine win.

The 20-year-old Nishikori was under pressure from the very start as Nadal came from 0-40 down on his opponent's first service game to break immediately.

It was a special moment coming back to Centre Court
--Rafael Nadal
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French Open champion Nadal was hitting the ball cleanly and with his customary power from the baseline and he survived two break-back points at 2-1 before a second break on the Nishikori service sealed the opening set.

Nishikori, who has had to battle an elbow injury, took a set off Nadal in their only previous meeting at Queen's Club in 2008, but his hopes of a repeat nosedived at 4-4 in the second set as a double-fault brought break point against him which the world number snapped up.

Nadal served out for the second set and an early break in the third put him in total command before Nishikori gained his first break of the match to level at 3-3.

But he was broken again and Nadal wrapped up victory with a powerful overhead to secure a second round match against Dutchman Robin Haase, who put out James Blake of the United States.

Britain's Andy Murray breezed into the second round with a comfortable straight sets victory over Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic.

The number four seed won 7-5 6-1 6-2 in one hour and 40 minutes on Court No.1 to set up a tie with either Jarkko Nieminen, of Finland, or Stefan Koubeck from Austria.

Murray was broken in the third game of the opening set but hit back to level at 4-4, then take it 7-5.

He cruised through the second set in just 26 minutes as Hajek managed to win just one game.

The Czech found it similarly tough going in the third, winning just two games as Murray wrapped up a comprehensive win.

Murray told the BBC: "I thought I played well. To win in straight sets is good and hopefully I can play better in the next round."

Elsewhere, the sixth seed Robin Soderling beat American Robert Ginepri 6-2 6-2 6-3 while ninth seed Spain's David Ferrer from Spain beat Nicolas Kiefer of Germany 6-4 6-2 6-3.