Seamless Nadal drubs Australian Duckworth in Melbourne opener

Seamless Nadal drubs Australian Duckworth in Melbourne opener

Nadal at Australian Open 2019
Spain's Rafael Nadal serves against Australia's James Duckworth during their men's singles match on day one of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan 14, 2019. (Photo: Jewel SAMAD/AFP)

MELBOURNE: Former champion Rafa Nadal showed no signs of discomfort from his thigh strain as he sailed through to the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-4 6-3 7-5 win over local hope James Duckworth on Monday.

The first meeting between the 17-times Grand Slam champion, a winner at Melbourne Park in 2009, and Australian wildcard Duckworth, who is ranked 238 in the world, always had the potential to be an uneven contest.

The second-seeded Spaniard had pulled out of the Brisbane warmup with a thigh strain to raise doubts about his campaign but he allayed those fears on Rod Laver Arena against an error-prone opponent.

The Spaniard, who will next meet the winner of Australian Matthew Ebden's contest with Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany, broke Duckworth six times while surrendering his serve twice and brought an end to the match with a brilliant crosscourt winner.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Source: Reuters