Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open in 2009Australian Open 2019Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 JanuaryCoverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal overcame…
|Australian Open 2019|
|Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January|
|Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.|
Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal overcame James Duckworth in straight sets to reach the second round of the Australian Open.
Spanish second seed Nadal, 32, saw off the Australian 6-4 6-3 7-5 in two hours 16 minutes on Rod Laver Arena, despite a stubborn finish from Duckworth.
“He was playing super aggressive, every shot,” Nadal said.
South African fifth seed Kevin Anderson also progressed by beating France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-3 5-7 6-2 6-1.
The 32-year-old, who has reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park on three occasions, served 14 aces but made 38 unforced errors as he won his opening match in two hours 53 minutes.
The Wimbledon runner-up faces American Frances Tiafoe in the next round.
Nadal, who cut short his 2018 season with an abdominal muscle injury and to have ankle surgery, appeared to be back to full fitness against Australian wildcard Duckworth.
The world number two showed no sign of being bothered by a thigh strain that had forced him to pull out of the Brisbane International earlier this month.
“I am trying to be better and better every day,” he said. “I had a good week of practice before this tournament.”
He will play either Australian Matthew Ebden or Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round.