Nadal powers past Millman on Wimbledon return

Rafael Nadal showed he will certainly be a force to reckon with at Wimbledon this year after thumping Australian John Millman in straight sets on Monday.

The Spaniard won 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 to clinch the 850th match win of his career and sail into the second round. It was also his 50th win at Wimbledon, where he has won the trophy on two previous occasions in 2008 and 2010.

Nadal missed last year's tournament because of injury and was playing his first match on grass in two years. He has struggled at Wimbledon in recent years, but is riding high after one of the most dominant clay-court seasons of his career, which culminated in his 10th Roland Garros triumph.

“It was a very positive match for me, a good start… I am through to the second round," he said. "That's a very important thing for me. And I happy because I didn't win a lot of matches the last couple of years here in Wimbledon. Today I win one, and I am looking forward to play the second one.

"I have been playing good tennis since the beginning of the season," he added. "The clay court season has been special and emotional and here I have an opportunity to perform on grass."

World No 137 Millman was broken eight times during the one-hour-and-48-minute contest in what was a dominant performance for Nadal, although the Australian did show some fight – particularly during the second and third sets when he twice broke Nadal's serve.

The Spaniard was already up in both sets at the time, however, and was able to return the favour immediately on each occasion to snuff out any real chance of danger.

Nadal moves on to face American World No 43 Donald Young, who was 2-1 up in sets when opponent Denis Istomin retired.

Sixth seed Marin Cilic was another winner late on Monday afternoon, dispatching a potentially challenging opponent in Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.