Meeting for only the second time on hardcourt, Spain's Nicolas Almagro took straight-set honours over compatriot Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the second round of Australian Open 2013 on Wednesday.
Both 27, with styles best suited to clay, they battled from the baseline with the more-fancied 10th seed Almagro winning 6-4 6-1 6-2.
As the match opened, it seemed the history of close encounters between the two was going to continue, underdog Gimeno-Traver striking first with an early break.
As the match settled in to a predictable backcourt slugfest, Almagro wrested back control by making all the play and his more powerful groundstrokes dominated. He struck nearly twice as many winners as his opponent to take the first set 6-4.
It became clear an upper-leg injury to Gimeno-Traver was causing him problems in the second set, and Almagro took full advantage, moving his opponent around and racing to 5-0 before Gimeno-Traver was forced to leave the court for a medical timeout.
He managed to get on the scoreboard when he returned, but Almagro quickly wrapped up the set and he didn’t let up in the third, breaking his opponent in the opening game and continuing to be the aggressor.
Moving in to the third round, Almagro is chasing a spot in the last 16 for the fourth consecutive year.
The Spaniards have been on different career trajectories: No.11 Almagro on a steady climb and entering the top 10 in mid-2011; Gimeno-Traver, ranked No.71, and yet to capture an ATP title.