Nadal survives Lorenzi scare

Sharapova storms past Makarova

After his 37-match winning streak on the red dirt was ended by Novak Djokovic last week in the final of the Madrid Open, the out-of-sorts Spaniard had to fight back from a set down before reeling off the last eight games to retain his record of never losing consecutive matches on clay.

Nadal's nervy performance contrasted with the imperious Novak Djokovic who crushed Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot 6-0, 6-3 earlier to stretch his unbeaten run for the year to 33 matches.

Djokovic can overtake Nadal as world number one this week if he wins the title and Nadal fails to reach the semis.

On Tuesday, Britain’s Andy Murray lost his serve five times but still overcame Xavier Malisse 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 to reach the third round.

Swede Robin Soderling also found the going tough before staging a remarkable fightback to beat Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Fourth seed Murray, knocked out in the third round of the Madrid Open last week by unseeded Thomaz Bellucci, struggled for rhythm on his serve and was made to sweat by his aggressive Belgian opponent before winning in just under two hours.

Earlier in the heat of the day, seventh seed Tomas Berdych made the third round by beating Argentine Juan Monaco 6-2, 6-2.  The Czech was joined in the last 16 by 16th seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who crushed Igor Andreev 6-1, 6-2 to set up a tie against third seed Roger Federer or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Former world number one Maria Sharapova sounded out a warning to her rivals after demolishing fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6-1 in 54 minutes to advance to the third round in the women’s singles.

The seventh seed was in irrepressible form ahead of Roland Garros, breaking her ragged opponent's serve in the first game and then at will.

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