Nadal, the top seed in Barcelona, has won the tournament six of the last seven years, including last year's 6-2, 6-4 victory over Ferrer in the title match. He was very sharp again Wednesday in claiming a 6-1, 6-2 second-round win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Nadal dropped 11 points over seven games serving and broke Garcia-Lopez's serve six times in eight games.
Ferrer, seeded third, was on the court 59 minutes in a 6-0, 6-3 romp over Filip Krajinovic. Ferrer also lost only 11 points on serve and was 5-for-5 in break-point chances.
No. 5-seeded Janko Tipsarevic was a 7-5, 6-4 winner over Victor Hanescu, seventh-seeded Feliciano Lopez defeated Flavio Cipolla 6-4, 6-3 and No. 8-seeded Kei Nishikori stopped Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 in other matches with top seeds.