The four-time champion displayed his usual battling qualities against Dimitrov, defiantly answering every break to complete a 6-3 6-4 win.??
During an eventful opening to the match, Nadal forged his first break with a fizzing backhand pass, but Dimitrov instantly broke back to level at 2-2.
Nadal doggedly refused to let Dimitrov settle into his serve and the Bulgarian surrendered another break when he sent a forehand long.
Applause greeted the Spaniard’s every success as he stubbornly defended his own service games to claim a 1-0 lead in the match.
But Dimitrov stifled the cheers by snatching another break at the start of the second set, sliding across the clay to plant a volley away from Nadal???s reach.
Once again, Nadal refused to let his opponent gain a foothold and levelled the match to prompt a furious reaction from Dimitrov, who smashed his racquet in frustration.
He could not hold the home favourite at bay and a ferocious forehand brought up a second match point for Nadal, who completed an impressive victory in the capital.