Melbourne, Australia, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- Spaniard Rafael Nadal, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev and Greece’s Stéfanos Tsitsipas reached the Australian Open second round, while David Goffin of Belgium and Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut did not make the cut.
Nadal, the second seed, prevailed over Serb Laslo Djere 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 52 minutes, proving that the back issues that forced him out of Spain’s 2021 ATP Cup opener earlier this month are a thing of the past.
The 20-time grand slam champion drop his serve just once, but he managed to weather a revival by the Serb late in the first set to seal it and then he held his serve throughout.
Next up for Nadal will be US’ Michael Mmoh, who won a four-hour-and-four-minute match against his fellow qualifier Victor Troicki of Serbia 7-6, 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.
In another encounter at Rod Laver Arena, Tsitsipas, the 2019 ATP Finals champion, dropped only four games in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 over Frenchman Gilles Simon, a former top-10 player, in just over one hour and half
The fifth-seeded Tsitsipas will play against Australia’s Thanasi Kokkonakis, who topped South Korea’s Soon Woo Kwon 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.
Fourth-seeded Medvedev extended his winning streak to 15 matches after he beat Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-2, 6-4, while world No. 8 Rublev downed German Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-3, 6-4, stretching a long unbeaten run in singles.
Belgium’s David Goffin, a former top-10 player, squandered his lead twice to fall in a five sets to wild card Alexei Popyrin of Australia, the same fate Bautista Agut, the 12th seed, of Spain faced against Moldovan Radu Albot in four sets. EFE-EPA