News24

Nadal eases past Haas

2012-01-18 07:33

Melbourne - World number two Rafael Nadal overcame Germany's Tommy Haas in straight sets to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Nadal, a 10-time grand slam champion, won 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in 2hr 29min to reach the last 32 of the tournament he won in 2009.

The Spanish left-hander will face either American Donald Young or Lukas Lacko of Slovakia in the third round.

Haas, a three-time semi-finalist in Melbourne, gave a reminder of his past glories with some great shot-making, particularly with his trademark one-handed backhand.

"He's a fantastic player and he's had a lot of injuries over the last couple of years and it's great to see him back," Nadal said.

Nadal, who again played with his right knee heavily bandaged after a pre-tournament injury scare, said he was happy with the knee's progress.

"It's much better and I'm happy with how the knee is improving and I played today without any problems," he said.

Haas, who reached the number two ranking in 2002 before a frustrating succession of injuries dropped his ranking to a current 190, had his opening two service games broken as Nadal began strongly.

The second seed raced to a 5-2 lead before the German hit back, breaking his service with a floating backhand to the top corner of the court.

But Nadal wrapped up the opening set in 54 minutes, holding his serve with a point at the net.

He broke Haas again in the opening game of the second set to seize control and clinched it with a second service break in the ninth game to take a 2-0 lead.

Haas broke serve in the opening game of the final set but Nadal hit back, breaking the German in the sixth and 10th games to take the match.

Haas, at 33, is the oldest player in the men's singles draw at this year's Australian Open.


AFP