Australian Open: Rafael Nadal to second round
Melbourne , Jan.17 : 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal produced a commanding performance as he swept aside dominating Florian Mayer of Germany in straight sets to storm into the second round of the Australian Open here on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old, who last won a Grand Slam title in 2014, posted a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over his German opponent in an opening-round contest that lasted over two hours in Rod Laver Arena.
The Spaniard landed 70 per cent of his first serves and ripped 39 winners against Mayer, who was playing for the first time in three years at Melbourne Park.
Nadal will now lock horns with Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, who entered the second round after his opponent Russian Mikhail Youzhny retired hurt at 6-3, 3-0. Nadal leads their ATP Head-to-Head series 8-1.
Nadal is currently bidding to win his second Australian Open after beating Roger Federer in the 2009 final.
In another men’s singles clash, third-seed Milos Raonic of Canada also booked his place in the second round of the first major of the season after posting a comfortable 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Germany’s Dustin Brown.
Meanwhile, defending champion and former world number one Novak Djokovic will also aim to make a winning start to his campaign when he takes on Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in the opening round later today.