Nadal clears second hurdle of Australian Open

Melbourne: Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal defeated Australia’s Matthew Ebden to advance into the third round of the ongoing Australian Open at the Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.

The 2009 champion registered an impressive 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Ebden in the match that lasted almost two hours.

Nadal is playing at his first tournament following his right ankle surgery in November last year.

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“Every day is a test, and especially when you are back after injuries. I think I played a solid match, I am happy with the way my serve worked, and I think I did a few things very well – serve and first shot have been very, very positive, hitting a lot of winners with my forehand. And with my return, I think I have been improving during the match,” Australian Open quoted Nadal, as saying.

The world number two was tested by his Australian counterpart, who was comfortable on serve in the opening exchanges. However, Nadal’s superb serve brought him back into the game. As Ebden was left in the danger zone under pressure, Nadal went on to wrap up his victory.

“Today has been a very important step forward for me. The way that I played was very positive, in my opinion. I am happy about the rest of things,” the Spaniard added.

Nadal will next meet Australia’s Alex de Minaur, who reached the third round of a Grand Slam championship for the third consecutive time.


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