Nadal cruises to 3rd round at Australian Open
Rafael Nadal has moved into the third round with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win over 126th-ranked German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann.
The sixth-seeded Nadal, aiming for a men’s record 21st Grand Slam singles title, didn’t get it all his own way in an afternoon match on Rod Laver Arena.
He had two match points on Hanfmann’s serve in the ninth game of the third set and then two more on his own in the next game before finally clinching the win in 2 hours and 42 minutes when his rival sent a forehand long.
Nadal converted four of his 16 break point chances, including one of eight in the third set, but only faced two breakpoints on his own serve and fended them both off.
The 35-year-old Nadal shares the men's record of 20 singles titles with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Federer is skipping the Australian Open while he continues his recovery from injury. Djokovic, a nine-time champion at Melbourne Park, couldn't play after having his visa canceled for failing to meet Australia's strict COVID-19 vaccination regulations.