AUSTRALIA OPEN– Rafael Nadal wasted no time in reaching the third round, dropping only one service game – while serving for the match – and making just 10 unforced errors in a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Leonardo Mayer on Wednesday.
Nadal, who won the French and US Opens last year but had his preparation for Australia delayed because of an injured right knee, called it “an important victory.”
“I mean, he’s a tough opponent. Leonardo is a player with big potential,” said Nadal, the 2017 runner-up. “After a while without being on the competition … second victory in a row, that’s very important.”
Nadal, who lost in the final here last year to Roger Federer, served for the match but was broken in the 10th game, with Mayer hitting a cross-court winner that clipped the line.
In the tiebreaker, Nadal won on his first match point with a service winner.
He will next play 28th-seeded Damir Dzumhur, who beat John Millman in four sets.
Local hope Nick Kyrgios, who upset Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2014 as a 19-year-old, overcame distractions from a faulty speaker system at Hisense Arena and a lot of noise to beat Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (2).
The 17th-seeded Kyrgios complained numerous times to chair umpire James Keothavong about noise coming from his microphone during points. Eventually, the umpire turned the microphone off and just shouted the score after each point.