Sony Open: Rafael Nadal knocks out Lleyton Hewitt in just 69 minutes in Miami
Rafael Nadal began his bid to win the Sony Open for the first time with a routine 6-1 6-3 victory over Lleyton Hewitt.
Last Updated: 23/03/14 7:41am
The world number one needed just 69 minutes to see off the veteran Australian who has not even taken a set off his opponent since 2007. He never came close to breaking that barren run in Saturday's night match, his cause not helped by 24 unforced errors.
Nadal signalled his intentions with a break in the first game - he then went on to wrap up the first set after just 27 minutes with a third break.
Hewitt - who had registered his 600th win in the opening round of the tournament - did put up more of a fight in the second, with neither player managing to create a break-point opportunity in the opening seven games.
Eventually, though, Nadal edged 5-3 in front before serving out for the match.
"I think I played a solid match without many mistakes," he said afterwards "I tried all the time to play the logical shot.
"In general I have to be very happy. I think I did what I had to do today."
Nadal has won 62 titles in his stellar career, including 25 Masters Series events. However the trophy in Miami has so far eluded him, with the 27-year-old a three-time losing finalist.
Hewitt, who has now lost six in a row against the left-hander and is behind 7-4 overall, admitted the Spaniard had simply been too hot to handle.
"It was tough, I was sort of caught between trying to be too aggressive and too passive," explained the former world number one. "Even when I felt like I was able to push him around he found a way to get back into the point.
"He hit the ball really clean right from the start. I hung in there did everything I could but he was too good."