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Nadal storms into second round of Australian Open

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Melbourne, Feb 9 (IANS) Rafael Nadal on Tuesday started off his chase for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam in an emphatic manner, registering a straight-sets win against Serbia’s Laslo Djere in the opening round contest of the men’s singles event of the Australian Open.

The World No. 2 defeated Djere 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 51 minutes to reach the second round where he will play one of two qualifiers — Michael Mmoh or Viktor Troicki.

“I’m happy to be through to the second round. I think I did a good job today,” Nadal said after the match as per the ATP Tour website. “Straight sets, that’s what I needed.”

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Nadal did not compete in the ATP Cup due to injury.

“It’s been a tough 15 days for me, because I had some issues with the back. I needed to survive today, and that’s what I did,” the Spaniard said. “I just tried to be focussed all the time, tried to get through.”

Earlier in the day, Daniel Medvedev also advanced to the second round, beating Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-2, 6-4. However, there was disappointment for India’s Sumit Nagal who faced a crushing 2-6, 5-7, 3-6 defeat to Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis to bow out of the competition.

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On Monday, Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic had registered comprehensive victories in their respective first-round clashes.

–IANS

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