Rafael Nadal's late-season resurgence continued at the ATP World Tour tennis Finals when he beat wayward French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3 6-2 to open his account in London.
The Spaniard, who has climbed back to fifth in the rankings after falling to 10th in a miserable year, took advantage of an error-strewn Wawrinka display to move level with Andy Murray at the top of Ilie Nastase Group.
Nadal, back at the Tour Finals after missing out last year because of appendicitis surgery, dropped his opening service game to love but then broke Wawrinka's as the first nine points all went the way of the receiver.
Wawrinka blazed a forehand to fall 5-3 behind in the opener and Nadal wrapped up the set with an ace.
Nadal failed to convert any of the seven break points Wawrinka offered up at the start of the second set and then had to save two himself in the next game, one with a stunning lob.
World number four Wawrinka offered precious little resistance after that and his unforced error count climbed to 35 as Nadal raced to victory.
The 14-times grand slam champion has won 14 of his 18 matches since a disappointing defeat in the U.S. Open third round by Fabio Fognini, reaching finals in Beijing and Basel as well as the semis in Shanghai.
He will face Murray on Thursday after the Briton also won his opening match against David Ferrer.
Murray, aiming to win the prestigious season-ender for the first time in his career, needed to be at full tilt to finally subdue his Spanish opponent 6-4 6-4.
In the other group, first round winners Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer meet tomorrow, while Tomas Berdych plays Kei Nishikori.