Melbourne [Australia]: World number one Rafael Nadal will aim to storm into the pre-quarterfinals of the Australian Open when he squares off with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Damir Dzumhur in the third round of the men’s singles event here on Friday.
Yesterday, Nadal continued his quest for the 17th Grand Slam title by clinching a hard-fought straight sets victory over Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer in the second round of the tournament at the Melbourne Park.
The Spanish tennis maestro showed no sign of his recent knee issues, but he was left frustrated by Mayer’s resilience before coming out as an eventual winner with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 win in a thrilling clash that lasted for two hours and 38 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
Nadal committed smashed 40 winners and just 10 unforced errors in contrast to Mayer’s 48 winners – including 15 aces.
With the win, the Spanish superstar had extended his Head-to-Head record to 5-0 against the Argentine.
Nadal will now look to continue his good form when he heads into a clash against 28th seed Dzumhur, who won two ATP titles at the end of 2017 and beaten Paolo Lorenzi of Italy and Australian John Millman to set up an encounter against the top seed.
The 16-time Grand Slam Champion has been impressive so far in the first major of the season, having demolished Dominican Victor Estrella and Leonardo Mayer to kickstart his campaign on a promising note.
In another men’s singles clash, Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in the third round of the tournament.
Earlier, Kyrgios produced a rich vein of form as he swept aside Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) in a thrilling second round. (ANI)