Nadal through; Kyrgios, Fognini also win - EntornoInteligente /

Rafael Nadal has reached the Australian Open final five times but won only once, in 2009. WORLD number one Rafael Nadal cruised into the Australian Open second round with a straightforward victory over Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien.

Nadal, champion in Melbourne in 2009, dropped just five games in a 6-2, 6-3, 6-0 win over his 72nd-ranked opponent.

The Spaniard, runner-up to Novak Djokovic last year, is bidding to equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles.

“For me personally, it has been a very positive start,” the 33-year-old said. What you want is to win in the first round and, if you can do it in straight sets, even better.”

Nadal, who will play Federico Delbonis of Argentina next, has reached the Australian Open final five times but won it only once, beating Federer in a five-set epic 11 years ago.

He dropped serve twice against Dellien but barely looked troubled, hitting 38 winners to his opponent’s 15.

Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev came through a testing first-round match against American Frances Tiafoe, winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours 36 minutes.

Russian Medvedev, beaten in five sets by Nadal in last year’s US Open final, plays Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez in the second round.

He said: “Many moments in the match, I felt like I had got the momentum and straight away he was coming back. For the first round, it’s a big win and I’m really happy.”

Kyrgios pledged before the tournament to donate 200 Australian dollars (£105, $137) for each ace he hits to the bushfire appeal and he hit 14 during his victory.

Former world number one John McEnroe told Kyrgios on court afterwards that he would donate A$1,000 for each set Kyrgios won during the rest of the tournament.

Kyrgios has been criticised in the past for his on-court behaviour but he said the bushfires that have devastated large parts of Australia had given him perspective on his game.

“Why am I really getting mad on the tennis court with everything going on?” he said.

“Every match I’ve played this year, I’ve been pretty good. It’s probably because of everything going on.”

The 24-year-old dedicated his victory to Australian men’s number one Alex de Minaur, who withdrew before the tournament with an abdominal injury.

Kyrgios slipped during his match but told McEnroe it was nothing serious, adding: “I move like a giraffe sometimes. I’m pretty dramatic sometimes — but you know all about that.”

He will face 35-year-old Frenchman Gilles Simon in the second round and could meet Nadal in the last 16. (BBC Sport)

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