Australian Open

Clinical Nadal overwhelms Australia's Ebden

2019-01-16 14:15
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal (AP)

Melbourne - A dominant Rafael Nadal overwhelmed Australia's Matthew Ebden in straight sets to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday and stay on track for an 18th Grand Slam title.

The Spaniard, who cut short his 2018 season to have surgery on a foot injury, raced through the tie in just 116 minutes.

The 32-year-old's newly remodelled serve only briefly came under pressure from Ebden, 31, who enjoyed vociferous home support on Rod Laver Arena before losing 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

The Australian forced three break points at 3-2 in the first set, but could convert none before the second seed reeled off four games in a row to close it out in 35 minutes.

It was one-way traffic from then on as Nadal, sporting a trademark sleeveless shirt, cruised into the last 32.

"I played a solid match, I was happy with the way I served. I did a few things very well," said Nadal, who next plays Australian 27th seed Alex de Minaur. "It is an honour to play here. Was a great atmosphere."

Nadal pulled out of his Brisbane warm-up event two weeks ago with a thigh strain but showed no sign of the injury woes that saw him limp out of both the Australian Open and US Open last year.

"I don't know if it's that good," said Nadal modestly after a dominant performance. "I just came back from injury so it is not easy to evaluate yet."

He is bidding to become the first man in the Open era, and only third in history along with Roy Emerson and Rod Laver, to win each Grand Slam on two or more occasions.

Results from Day 3 of the Australian Open on Wednesday:

Men

Round 2

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x14) bt Viktor Troicki (SRB) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x19) bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

Tomas Berdych (CZE) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x18) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4

Marin Cilic (CRO x6) bt Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 7-5, 6-7 (9/11), 6-4, 6-4

Frances Tiafoe (USA) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA x5) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5

Fernando Verdasco (ESP x26) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3

Karen Khachanov (RUS x10) bt Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

Roger Federer (SUI x3) bt Daniel Evans (GBR) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3), 6-3

Taylor Fritz (USA) bt Gael Monfils (FRA x30) 6-3, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5)

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x22) bt John Millman (AUS) 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x20) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-5

Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) bt Reilly Opelka (USA) 6-7 (15/17), 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10/5)

Alex de Minaur (AUS x27) bt Henri Laaksonen (SUI) 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (7/9), 4-6, 6-3

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Matthew Ebden (AUS) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Women

Round 2

Sloane Stephens (USA x5) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-3, 6-1

Petra Martic (CRO x31) bt Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 6-4, 7-5

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) bt Anett Kontaveit (EST x20) 6-3, 6-3

Caroline Garcia (FRA x19) bt Zoe Hives (AUS) 6-3, 6-3

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x15) bt Wang Yafan (CHN) 6-2, 6-3

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) bt Kiki Bertens (NED x9) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

Amanda Anisimova (USA) bt Lesya Tsurenko (UKR x24) 6-0, 6-2

Maria Sakkari (GRE) bt Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-1, 6-4

Danielle Collins (USA) bt Sachia Vickery (USA) 6-3, 7-5

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x3) bt Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-1, 6-3

Kimberly Birrell (AUS) bt Donna Vekic (CRO x29) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1

Petra Kvitova (CZE x8) bt Irina Begu (ROU) 6-1, 6-3

Belinda Bencic (SUI) bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x11) bt Katie Boulter (GBR) 6-3, 6-4

Angelique Kerber (GER x2) bt Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 6-2, 6-3

 

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