New York:Rafael Nadal ripped returns on serves, laced passing shots, and crafted crisp volleys in a dynamic performance to beat Ryler DeHeart 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in the second round of the US Open on Thursday.
"I did well," Nadal said.
"I am happy to be in the third round, for me this is a very important tournament."
Nadal, who has won eight titles this season including his fourth French Open crown and first Wimbledon trophy, has never made it past the quarter-finals at the US Open and hasn't made it to a hardcourt Grand Slam final.
But he looked poised to make a run in 2008 as he smacked 21 forehand winners and made just 11 unforced errors in the one hour, 40 minute night session match on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
"The most important thing is I finished quickly so I can get to bed early," Nadal said.
The 22-year-old Nadal became the first Spanish tennis player to win an Olympic gold medal at the Beijing Games.
He officially became the new world number one on August 18, ending Roger Federer's record run of 237 weeks top the ATP rankings.
Top seed Nadal advances to the third round where he will play Viktor Troicki of Serbia.
"He is a good player. I am going to have to play better to beat him," Nadal said.
DeHeart made it into the tournament through the qualifying stage and made a successful Grand Slam debut with a first round win over Olivier Rochus.