While Rafael Nadal got off to a less-than-stellar start to his 2015 season, he more than made up for it in his opening match at the Australian Open. Now, the Spaniard will look to secure a spot in the third round of the tournament when he meets American Tim Smyczek on Wednesday. This marks the first time that these two will cross paths on the tour.
Watch the match live here: Nadal v Smyczek
Against Mikhail Youzhny, Nadal dominated the encounter en route to a straight sets victory. He defeated the Russian 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in 1 hour and 50 minutes of court time. Nadal struck four aces, won 89% of his first service points and hit 37 winners to breathe a sigh of relief.
“Very positive result for me. I think very good start. Very important, no? Always before the first match you always have the doubts, especially in this situation I’m arriving here. Never easy, but it was an important match for me. Every match is very important for me today. Was a comfortable victory that give me some confidence.”
His opponent reached the second round with a straight sets win against Luke Saville. Tim hit six aces, won 73% of his first service points and hit 33 winners to set up an encounter with Nadal.
“All opponents are going to be difficult, and with the maximum respect for everybody and knowing that anything can happen in every round against anyone,” Nadal said. “So just going to go on court with the same spirit as today, maximum respect, trying to be very focus, and try to play little bit the same way like I did today. I think I did very positive things. I am trying to improve in the thing that I need to improve a little bit more.”
This marks the first time that Nadal and Smyczek will meet on the tour and based on the Spaniard’s most recent effort, it will likely be a one-sided affair in his favour.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Straight Sets