Melbourne | Nadal and Thiem sweep into second round
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The world No.1 Rafa Nadal joined his old rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the second round of the Australian Open which he has only won once in his illustrious career which has seen him collect 19 grand slam titles.
He has a tough first five games but he had chances to win games Rafa Nadal
He made light work of Hugo Dellien Tuesday to launch his campaign to equal Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles, dropping just five games on the Rod Laver Arena in just under two hours.
He swept past the Bolivian 6-2 6-3 6-0 as the 33-year-old from Mallorca, continues his domination of opponents.
“For me it is a positive start. What you want is a first round win and in three sets is even better,” said Nadal, who struck 38 winners and made only 21 unforced errors.
“This court always brings me lots of positive energy.”
Nadal was in total charge against the world number 73, storming to a 5-0 lead in the opening set before Dellien held serve, then against the odds broke, before the Spaniard served out the set.
Underdog Dellien was broken in the sixth game of the second set but hit back again to break Nadal for the second time in the match before the top seed rallied back to restore control with some blistering forehands down the line.
A tiring Dellien tried his best but Nadal quickly raced 3-0 up in the third set as his powerful game proved too much for the South American.
“He (Dellien) has a tough first five games but he had chances to win games,” said Nadal, who lost in last year’s final to Novak Djokovic.
“He’s a fighter, he’s a great guy.”
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Meanwhile world No 5 Dominic Thiem, one of the players most likely to succeed the Big Three at the top of the game, reached the second round in a confident manner as he attempts to win his first grand slam title.
The Austrian, who has never got past the fourth round in Melbourne, brushed aside Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3 7-5 6-2 on Margaret Court Arena.
“It is always really hard against Adrian, he is a very talented player so I’m very happy to be in the second round,” said the 26-year-old, who won five titles last year and was runner-up at the ATP Finals.
“It’s early in the season and I haven’t played many matches, but every win gives me confidence.”
The 1995 French Open champion and former world number one Thomas Muster has joined his and believes he will be able to help him achieve his goals.
“He just started three weeks ago,” he said of Muster. “It is an amazing addition to my team, he is the greatest player ever from our country.
“He has so much experience and he can help me a lot.”
Thiem got an early break in the first set and never looked troubled, sealing the set after a 27-shot rally and while Mannarino put up some resistance in the second, the result became inevitable when Thiem broke him twice in the third for his eight win over the Frenchman.