Barcelona: Rafael Nadal avenged his shock defeat to Nicolas Almagro at last year's Barcelona Open to move into the third round in the Catalan capital with a 6-3, 6-1 win on Thursday.
Rafael Nadal celebrates his win over Nicolas Almagro. Pic/AFP
Almagro's sole victory in 13 meetings with the 14-time Grand Slam champion in last year's quarter-final ended Nadal's incredible 41-match winning streak in Barcelona.
However, the out-of-form Almagro, who has slipped to 123 in the world, was swept aside as Nadal won 10 of the last 11 games to comfortably book his place in the next round.
Nadal will face 17-year-old Russian Andrey Rublev or Fabio Fognini, who has already beaten Nadal on clay this year in Rio de Janeiro, in the Last 16 on Thursday.
David Ferrer remained on course for a potential semi-final meeting with Nadal as the World No 8 was too strong for Alberto Montanes 6-2, 6-3.
However, US Open champion Marin Cilic's disappointing season continued as he was dumped out by 34-year-old Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos 6-4, 6-4.
Cilic's start to the year was hampered by injury as he missed the Australian Open, but he has won just two matches in three tournaments since his return in Indian Wells last month.
The Croatian's normally reliant serve let him down as the World No 53 broke four times in 10 Cilic service games to seal a place in the last 16 against Martin Klizan.
Nick Kyrgios' poor record outside the Grand Slams continued as he lost against fellow 19-year-old Elias Ymer 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7).