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.
Barty, Badosa and Azarenka advance
On the women’s side, top-ranked Ash Barty is breezing through the Australian Open draw so far. Things could get a lot more interesting soon enough.
Barty extended her streak of service holds to 48 games and moved into the third round at Melbourne Park for the sixth consecutive year by beating 142nd-ranked qualifier Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 6-1 in under an hour Tuesday in Rod Laver Arena.
Barty dropped just one game in her first-round match, which also took less than an hour, as she bids to become the first Australian woman since 1978 to win the country’s Grand Slam tournament.
She is already a two-time major champion, with trophies at the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon last year.
Next up for Barty will be a matchup against another Italian, 30th-seeded Camila Giorgi. Win that, and Barty could end up in a fourth-round showdown against defending champion Naomi Osaka.
Eighth-seeded Paula Badosa has moved into the third round with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan on Rod Laver Arena.
Badosa won the title at a Sydney tuneup tournament last week, when she put together back-to-back match wins in Australia for the first time.
In other early second-round results on Day 3 of the year’s first tennis Grand Slam event, two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka beat Jil Teichmann 6-1, 6-2 and No. 30 Camila Giorgi beat Tereza Martincova 6-2, 7-6 (2).
Former U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys staved off a late comeback attempt by Jaqueline Cristian to beat the Romanian 6-2 7-5. The Adelaide champion has won now seven straight matches and meets Alison Van Uytvanck or Wang Qiang next.