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Nadal continues winning streak to ease into Melbourne third round


R

afael Nadal made it six wins out of six this year without a dropped set as he eased past qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in straight sets on Wednesday.

Any suggestion that Nadal was still feeling the effects of the injury which had forced him to curtail his season prematurely last August were quickly erased with a 6-2 6-3 6-4 victory.

His defeat of the world No126 comes after winning the Melbourne warm-up event.

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Despite the ease of the win, Nadal said: “Having played him before at Roland Garros, I knew that he is dangerous. His result against Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first round says that he is playing great and coming from qualies he was used to the courts.

“He has big shots, a good serve and has a lot of potential. Today, his level was much higher than his ranking says.”

As he had done against Kokkinakis, Hanfmann’s approach was to hit the ball hard and flat but he could make little inroads on the Nadal serve.

Nadal, who on 71 wins now lies third on the Australian Open all-time victory list behind only Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, is bidding to surpass both men with a record 21st Grand Slam title at the end of this fortnight.


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