Nadal extends winning streak to 16 when Almagro retires

ROME (AP) Rafael Nadal's winning streak was extended to 16 matches when Nicolas Almagro retired in the first set Wednesday at the Italian Open.

Nadal was leading 3-0, 15-30 when Almagro bent over and grasped his left knee.

Nadal went over to Almagro's side of the net to ask what was wrong and consoled his opponent. Almagro then got some medical attention at his chair but quickly retired from the second-round match.

Nadal has won consecutive clay-court tournaments in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. He's aiming for an eighth title at the Foro Italico as he prepares for the French Open, which starts in less than two weeks.

Nadal will next face either 13th-seeded Jack Sock or Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic.

The 73rd-ranked Almagro had come through qualifying.

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