Nadal cruises into 3rd round after Rublev, Tsitsipas, Fognini wins

Bangkok Desk, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- Spain’s Rafael Nadal eased to a straight-sets victory over American Michael Mmoh in the Australian Open second round on Thursday.

The 2009 champion in Melbourne saw off the unseeded Mmoh 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in under two hours without conceding a break point.

It was Nadal’s second consecutive straight sets victory, a welcome boost to the 34 year old as he continues to struggle with back spasms.

Nadal’s most uncomfortable moment during Thursday’s action arguably came from the stands rather than his opponent on court, after a fan repeatedly interrupted play and verbally abused the 20-time grand slam winner before being removed by stewards towards the end of the second set.

The Spaniard saw the funny side of the exchange however, calling it a “strange situation, but funny at the same time.”

“I didn’t know her, and honestly I don’t want to,” he joked at the post-match press conference.

The heckling incident did not put Nadal off, as he completed the comfortable win with two breaks in the third set.

He moves on to the third round, where he will face British number three Cameron Norrie.

Earlier on Thursday, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas played a marathon to defeat local crowd favorite Thanasi Kokkinakis in four hours and 32 minutes, while Russia’s Andrey Rublev faced a tough third set before advancing into the third round.

Rublev remains undefeated in 2021 after recently winning the ATP Cup with Russia, while Tsitsipas, the last player to beat him, struggled to a 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-1, 6-7(5-7), 6-4 victory against a gritty performance from Kokkinakis on center court.

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