A ruthless Rafael Nadal showed no mercy in a clinical first-round thumping of

Spanish second seed bidding to become the first man in the Open era, and only third in history along with Roy Emerson and Rod Laver, to win each Grand Slam on two or more occasions

Last Updated: 14/01/19 10:44am



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Rafael Nadal overpowers wildcard James Duckworth in their first-round match in Melbourne

Rafael Nadal overpowers wildcard James Duckworth in their first-round match in Melbourne

A ruthless Rafael Nadal showed no mercy in a clinical first-round thumping of wildcard James Duckworth at the Australian Open on Monday.

Nadal swatted aside the home hope Duckworth 6-4 6-3 7-5 in a performance that eased concerns over his fitness ahead of the season’s first major.

The 2009 winner had pulled out of the Brisbane International warm-up with a thigh strain but showed no signs of the problem in his opener, hammering his opponent to set up a meeting with Matthew Ebden or Jan-Lennard Struff next.

John Isner was upset by fellow American Reilly Opelka

John Isner was upset by fellow American Reilly Opelka

Ninth seed John Isner was stunned by his American compatriot Reilly Opelka, who secured a 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) victory in a tight encounter between the towering pair that looked set to go the distance.

Opelka, ranked 102 in the world, moved into the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.

Kevin Anderson blasted his way past Adrian Mannarino

Kevin Anderson blasted his way past Adrian Mannarino

Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson fired 14 aces and 47 winners to blast past Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3 5-7 6-2 6-1.

The towering South African, who has never gone beyond the fourth round in Melbourne, next meets unseeded American Frances Tiafoe, who beat qualifier Prajnesh Gunneswaran 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 6-3.

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov dropped the opening set tamely but regained his composure to power past unseeded Janko Tipsarevic 4-6 6-3 6-1 6-4.

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