Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Gilles Simon...

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Gilles Simon of France during the U.S. Open, Sunday. (Sept. 5, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

There are six Spanish men through to the final 16, further proving that they are as comfortable on hard courts as they are on clay. No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal, Feliciano Lopez, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Tommy Robredo and Albert Montanes have won their first three matches. Nadal will face Lopez in the next round and Ferrer will play Verdasco.

Robredo says the Spanish have no problem playing each other.

"If I have a brother and I play him, I want to beat him," he said. "It's no problem with that. The only difference is that maybe the night before, you have been going to dinner together."

That, Robredo said, is a good thing, too.

"I think that it's better to have 10 players from Spain than having 10 players from another country," he said. "In every tournament, we have friends. We can go to dinner with one, with another. We make a big group of friends. That's helpful to us."

Lopez was effusive about the Spanish prospects. "What can I say about Spanish tennis? It's always there," he said. "And since 15, 20 years ago, we are winning almost everything, no?"

Clijsters stays on roll

Defending champion Kim Clijsters had another easy day, defeating friend and former No. 1 in the world Ana Ivanovic, 6-2, 6-1. Though Ivanovic took a pretty sound shellacking, she comes away from the Open with considerably more confidence than she had coming in. No. 1 in the world after winning the French Open in 2008, Ivanovic has battled back from injury and malaise. She won three matches here.

"You know, I probably got further than I expected to in the first place, so I'm really happy about that," Ivanovic said. "I do feel really happy about my game and everything. I'm a little bit disappointed about the way I played today."

Stakhovsky, Llodra out

Sergiy Stakhovsky and Michael Llodra were forced to retire with injuries Sunday. Stakhovsky had to leave his match against Lopez in the second set when the pain from an infected toe on his right foot became unbearable. Llodra retired in the fourth set of his match against Robredo with a headache and dizziness.

Robredo benefited from a second straight retirement after Julien Benneteau had to pull out against him with a bad wrist.

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