Fifth seed Leonardo Mayer tops Stephane Robert in Argentina


No. 5-seeded Leonardo Mayer of Argentina reached the second round of the Argentina Open on Monday, defeating Stephane Robert of France 6-0, 6-1.

In another first-round match between unseeded players, Paolo Lorenzi defeated Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1.

Rafael Nadal is the No. 1 seed. He plays Wednesday and has a bye into the second round of the clay-court event. The other three seeded players also have byes: No. 2 Tommy Robredo, No. 3 Pablo Cuevas and No. 4 Fabio Fognini.

Nadal was beaten by Fognini in the semifinals of last week’s Rio Open. It ended his 52-match unbeaten string in semifinals on clay. The former No. 1 has yet to reach a final this season in three tournaments, trying to rebound from illness and injury.

”Physically I am a little worse off than I would like to be,” Nadal said, talking about last week in Rio. ”I’m missing things – being a little more confident in my physical side, which I have been my entire career. I need to be more consistent on the court. I think this has been the most important thing in my career.”

Nadal said what he said last week in Rio: be patient and keep grinding.

”This is a phase I have to get through,” Nadal said. ”I have to work for it.”