Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his first round match against Serbia’s Laslo Djere REUTERS/Loren Elliott
MELBOURNE—Rafael Nadal defied his gloomy injury prognosis to crush Laslo Djere 6-3 6-4 6-1 and reach the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
The Spanish great was not quite at his all-action, fist-pumping best but appeared unimpeded by his back problems as he posted an encouraging win over the 56th ranked Serb in the afternoon sunshine at Rod Laver Arena.
🚨 RAFA TIME 🚨
The quest for his 21st major begins now against Laslo Djere 🔥 @RafaelNadal | #AusOpen | #AO2021 pic.twitter.com/V3cwsvCB7Q
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 9, 2021
After closing out a tight second set, the second seed played like a man unburdened, racing to the finish line in a hail of winners before Djere conceded the match meekly with a double fault.
Nadal will meet the winner of two qualifiers — American Michael Mmoh or Viktor Troicki — for a place in the third round.
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.