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By Chris Oddo | Monday January 15, 2018

 
Nadal

Rafael Nadal powered past Victor Estrella Burgos in straight sets to reach the second round of the Australian Open.

Photo Source: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Rafael Nadal started his 2018 season with a bang, ripping past Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 on Day 1 of the Australian Open to set up a second-round encounter with Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer.

“He’s a very good player, hits the ball very strong, so I need to be ready to compete well from the beginning,” said Nadal of his next opponent. The Spaniard owns a 4-0 lifetime edge over Mayer, including a four-set win in the third round of the U.S. Open last year.

Wearing a grey sleeveless Nike top and a pink headband and wristbands, Nadal was dominant in all statistical categories on Monday night. He moved flawlessly and showed no sign of any lingering knee issues, and methodically worked his way past Estrella Burgos with very little resistance.

"Happy for the start, of course. Is a positive start with a good result," Nadal said. "If I do months without playing official match is always a little bit more difficult. But I started with positive feelings. That's most important thing for me now. Of course, there is things to improve. But the thing that I need to improve, the matches will give me those things, no?"

Nadal won 86 points to just 41 for Estrella Burgos and he lead 5-0 in each set before the 37-year-old rallied to avoid the bagel each time. Nadal finished with 28 winners to 10 for Estrella Burgos and converted 8 of 12 break points to close affairs in 94 minutes.


Nadal improves to 52-11 lifetime at the Australian Open and 227-33 lifetime at the majors.

 

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