Defending champion Rafael Nadal has qualified for the second round of the Australian Open after beating Jack Draper in four sets: 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Nadal had to make hard work of Draper who took the game to him in the early sets but eventually toned down as the clash wore on as he appeared to have picked up a knock.
Despite losing at the end, Draper gave a good account of himself against the 22-Grand Slam champion in their first ever meeting with his serves and forehands.
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But two unusual faults from the Briton in the fourth set turned the tide in favour of Nadal who pounced on the opportunity to get ahead.
Nadal now faces Mackenzie Mcdonald who beat fellow American Brandon Nakashima in gruelling five set epic 7-6, 7-6, 1-6, 7-6 6-4.
Speaking after the game, Nadal conceded that it was not a perfect game but the most important thing was winning.
“Super-happy to be back here in Australia one more time. It’s like the 19th season in the professional tour so very excited about this new beginning,” Nadal said after the 3hrs 41mins test in blistering heat on Rod Laver Arena.
“I needed a victory, so that’s the main thing. Doesn’t matter the way. The most important thing today is a victory against a tough opponent.