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Brilliant Nadal too hot for Sweeting

Rafa Nadal had his fans drooling with another muscle-bulging display of brilliance to crush Ryan Sweeting...

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Rafa Nadal had his fans drooling with another muscle-bulging display of brilliance to crush Ryan Sweeting 6-3 6-2 6-4 Wednesday and stay firmly on course to defend his Wimbledon title.

With rain in the air and the roof closed, wolf whistles echoed around Centre Court when the Spaniard changed his shirt and gasps of awe met his most effortless winners in a one-sided second-round match.

"The Wimbledon Centre Court with or without the roof is probably the best court in the world," he told a televised interview.

"Roof off for sure," he added when asked for his preference.

The champion barely sent a forehand long or wide throughout the encounter, even when under pressure, and his rampant serves and pinpoint volleys were equally impressive.

Nadal had started the French Open in nervous fashion last month before gradually improving and peaking in time to beat Roger Federer yet again in the final.

In contrast, he has found his groove straight away at Wimbledon and the prospect of him playing even better next week would frighten even the most avid supporter of Federer, Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray.

American Sweeting, the world number 69, "was beaten fairly badly" in his own words by Nadal at the Australian Open and Indian Wells this year.

His attempts to put up a better fight floundered so much that he was forced to try to rally the crowd with his hands when he finally won a game to make it 1-4 in the second set.

He hung on bravely but the gulf in class was vast, especially when Sweeting tried to target Nadal's backhand but the world number one simply ran round the ball and fire off another unstoppable forehand in trademark fashion.

The break in the first set came at 3-1 and Nadal sealed the set to love with a rasping wide ace in front of a less than full Centre Court, although Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall had braved the drizzle outside to make it.

A clipped net cord, one of a host of unforced errors from the American, gifted Nadal the early advantage in the second set which he claimed with three aces in the deciding game.

The third set was move even but the ladies chomping strawberries in the stands knew the end was nigh and an imperious Nadal clinched victory to a cascade of applause and screams of "We love you Rafa" from his adoring fans.

"I don't know what is my best form, I try my best every day," added the Mallorcan who next plays Gilles Muller from Luxembourg. "I need a few adjustments."

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