Nadal through to third round with straight sets win

Nadal through to third round with straight sets win

23/01/2020

Rafael Nadal is through to the third round of the Australian Open thanks to a hard-fought but ultimately straight sets win over Federico Delbonis, finishing 6-3 7-6 6-1.

Nadal edged a tough first set, taking it 6-4 with a string of long rallies testing the players in the humid conditions.

At times the tennis on show was as the highest quality, with a match highlight being a spectacular full-stretch sliced volley by Nadal that left the Eurosport commentators in awe.

A second set tie-break proved the clincher, with Nadal taking it 7-4 before running away with the third set to reach the next round.

"It was a tough match, I lost a lot of opportunities on the break points but I found a way of winning the second set and was more aggressive in the third set."

The match will be largely remembered for an incident late on where a wayward return from Nadal cannoned at pace into the head of a ball-girl, leading to a series of conversations between her and the Spaniard.

Speaking after the match, Nadal commented further on the incident, explaining why he was so concerned for the ballgirl's safety:

"She was a super brave girl. That was one of the scariest moments when the ball struck her on the head. I remember a moment at Wimbledon many years ago, so I'm glad she's all OK. "

Nadal could face Nick Kyrgios if he makes it through to the fourth round, reigniting a burgeoning rivalry.

Kyrgios also progressed to the third round on Thursday, but wouldn't be drawn on the prospect of facing his rival, saying: "I'm not thinking ahead. There are a lot of Aussies still in the draw, a lot of great players. I'm taking it one match at a time."

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