Rafael Nadal looks to continue through his comfortable opening week in Melbourne with Federico Delbonis next up for the World No.1. Nadal is 3-0 against his opponent and none of them have been anywhere near close with the most games he lost in a victory being five back in 2013.
It was as comfortable as expected for the Spaniard in his opener with Hugo Dellien as he needed just over 2 hours to cruise past the Bolivian 6-2 6-3 6-0. It could have been even more one sided but for a few sloppy service games from Nadal but he is unlikely to be too concerned with that given the ease of the victory. “It’s been a solid start. I think the third set was a great set. I think I played a very good level of tennis,” Nadal said. “The first two, I played with a little more caution… Just trying to play a solid game with not many mistakes.
Delbonis will have been delighted to pick up a win in Melbourne having lost in the first round in five of his six previous appearances. The other was a third round run, which looks impossible for him given his round two opponent. The Argentinian really only plays outside of clay if he has to and that shows in much of his record and scheduling, where he would play clay Challenger Tour events ahead of main draw ATP ones. He did however pick up a good win to make it to this point, beating Joao Sousa in straight sets on Tuesday.
Nadal will only be thinking about his next matchup but it is easy to look ahead to a week on Sunday with a final against Novak Djokovic still the most likely outcome. “I think about my practice tomorrow, try to follow up the level of tennis that I played in the third set. That should be my main goal today, no? I need to play at my highest level if I want to keep going in the tournament,” he said. “The only thing I can do is put all my efforts on trying to keep going in the best way possible. The rest of the things, the future will see.”
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in straight sets