Nadal makes winning return

Top seed Rafael Nadal advanced to the quarter-finals of the Argentina Open on Thursday after cruising past Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-4. 

Coming off an extremely disappointing showing at the Australian Open, in which he was eliminated in the first round by Fernando Verdasco, Nadal looked in good touch as he got his Argentina Open campaign off the ground after receiving a bye in the first round.

In the first set, Nadal found himself 2-0 up after breaking Monaco, but the Argentine broke back in the next game before going on to make it 3-3.

However, Nadal gave himself some breathing space when he took a 5-3 lead after breaking Monaco in the eighth game. Even though Monaco responded by breaking back, Nadal broke him once again in the 10th game to clinch the first set.

It was a much different story at the start of the second set as Monaco raced out to a 3-1 lead after breaking Nadal in the third game. However, the world number five bounced back and broke Monaco twice en route to winning the match in an hour and 38 minutes.

Nadal will face Paulo Lorenzi in the quarter-finals after the Italian beat Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Meanwhile, second seed David Ferrer downed Renzo Olivo 6-2, 6-2 and will take on eighth seed Pablo Cuevas in the last eight after the latter defeated Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 6-2.