Legendary Spaniard Rafael Nadal has progressed to the second round of the Australian Open in convincing fashion.
Spanish legend Rafael Nadal has put his injury troubles behind him en route to a commanding first-round victory at the Australian Open, cruising past Serbian Laslo Djere 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 inside two hours.
The world No.2 withdrew from the ATP Cup due to a “stiff low back” and said on Sunday he had been “suffering” for 15 days, but he didn’t show any signs of hindrance in his 80th Australian Open match.
Nadal’s trademark forehand was invincible in the opening set, he overcame three break points in the second and he breezed through the third as Djere crumbled.
Nadal said he would have to manage his back troubles throughout the Open.
“My back is not perfect, as I said a couple of days ago. Every day that I’m able to go through, probably there are more chances to get better,” Nadal said in his post-match press conference.
“That’s the thing now. There is always a chance to improve, and that’s why I’m here playing and fighting to try to get better and then give myself a chance.
“Today it’s not great. I needed to change a little bit the motion of my serve. That’s what I tried to survive that condition today.
“Tomorrow a day off. After tomorrow, another match. I need to go day to day and just try to stay positive.
“Of course every day that I am trying to stay here longer is a day with a chance to get better finally, so that’s what I am trying. Trying to do all the things possible to be ready for compete, for what I came here.”
The 20-time Grand Slam champion is now set to meet the winner of Michael Mmoh and Viktor Troicki in the second round.