Rafael Nadal booked easy passage into the second round of the Australian Open Tuesday, with the Spanish top seed showing no mercy against Marcos Daniel as the Brazilian quit trailing 6-0, 5-0 with a knee injury.
Nadal, bidding for a fourth consecutive Grand Slam title, needed just three-quarters of an hour to advance against his hampered opponent.
And he said that injury or not, there was a job to do on court.
“I am a professional and I try my best in every point,” said Nadal after the rout in which Daniel won only 12 points. “That is the best way to respect the opponent.
“I think he started the match injured, he tried his best. He did not want to retire, I have all the respect for him.”
So brief was the victory for Nadal, who suffered last week with a virus, that he immediately went onto a practice court for 30 minutes to work on serve after advancing with 25 winners, 10 unforced errors and six breaks of Daniel.
“I think I played right,” said Nadal. “I played some good shots, some long shots. The serve can be a little bit better.”
Day two was unblemished by upsets after a similar scenario on opening day at Melbourne Park.
Russian 10th seed Mikhail Youzhny put out Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) while Austrian 11th seed Juergen Melzer dispatched Frenchman Vincent Millot 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
Croatian 15th seed Marin Cilic beat American qualifier Donald Young 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. Australian Bernard Tomic began fulfilling some expectations, with the wild card who refused to participate in a December playoff for a spot in the draw, defeating Jeremy Chardy of France 6-3, 6-2, 7-6.
In women’s play, there was more success for leading players. Second seed Vera Zvonareva, finalist at Wimbledon and the US Open, crushed Austrian Sybille Bammer 6-2, 6-1.
“That experience is something that made me stronger, a better player, more mature,” said the Russian who studies international relations at a Moscow university when she has the time.
“I am trying to look forward and improve. It is nice to start your Grand Slam like that. It is always difficult to play your best tennis out there in the first match.
“But I did what I needed to win and I am pretty happy, I am looking forward for the next challenge.”
It was also smooth for Aussie heroine and fifth seed Sam Stosur, the French Open finalist. The Queenslander hammered 17-year-old American Lauren Davis, youngest woman in the draw, 6-1, 6-1.
Former number one Jelena Jankovic, seeded seventh, beat Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) while Poland’s 12th seed Agnieszka Radwanska ended the Open for 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
“I was leading 4-1 in the third set, and then she took the medical timeout,” said the Japanese. “My body started getting old and I got a little bit of a cramp, it was so difficult to concentrate the ball.
“Young people have advantage because always I have problem with the recovery. Today was a fast match, so still I had some energy.”
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