Nadal cruises through at Australian Open

Ninth seed Rafael Nadal looked in great form with a straight sets victory over Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis to reach the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Thursday.

The 14-time grand slam winner, Nadal, looked sharp without dropping serve to beat Baghdatis 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in two hours and 14 minutes and will be up against German youngster and 24th seed Alexander Zverev next, who saw off Frances Tiafoe of the US 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 earlier in the day. 

The was one of those matches where Nadal always looked like he was going to win as he dominated the rallies and made few mistakes only dropping serve once as he sent Baghdatis running to all corners of the court throughout.

In the opening set things went with serve until Baghdatis dropped his in the fourth game and then again in the seventh to be 1-5 down. Though the Cypriot did break back the next game and hold serve, Nadal served out the set winning it 6-3.

The Spaniard dominated proceedings in the next set when he claimed Baghdatis' serve in the first, third and seventh games to win the set 6-1 in 40 minutes.

Nadal never let off in the third set and though Baghdatis saved four break points to hold serve in the fourth game it was all in vain as the 30-year-old Nadal broke serve in the sixth game to lead 4-2 going on to win the set and match 6-4.

In an interview after his victory courtside, Nadal said he was satisfied with the way he played and said he was feeling fit and not feeling troubled by injuries that have blighted his career in recent times.

"It was a good match. I didn't play during the night yet so the conditions were different and it was tough to adjust at the beginning. Marcos is a great player, especially in this court, he has a special feeling," said Nadal. 

"It was a great victory. I feel great in my body with no injuries now, I can't ask for anything more."  

When asked about his next opponent Sascha Zverev, Nadal said: "It will be a high-quality match. He's a potential Grand Slam winner and a big talent. He's improving in every moment. 

"He's a player that can be a future world No.1 so it will be a big challenge for me. I'll need to play my best"

In two other matches played earlier in the men's draw, eighth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria beat Jordan Thompson of Australia 6-2, 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-4 and in a match lasting three hours and 32 minutes, Frenchman Benoit Paire battles past Fabio Fognini of Italy 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

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