MELBOURNE: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal on Thursday progressed to the third round of the ongoing Australian Open.
The world number one Nadal went past Federico Delbonis of Argentina in straight sets.
Nadal defeated Delbonis 6-3, 7-6, 6-1 to march into the third round. The 33-year-old did not give his opponent any chance in the first set, and dropped just three games to take the momentum in his corner.
In the second set, Delbonis provided a challenge to the world number one, but Nadal went on to maintain his composure to take the set 7-6.
With two sets in his corner, Nadal decimated his opponent in the final set, dropping just one game and hence winning the match.
Nadal will next face Pablo Carreno Busta in the third round on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic had also progressed to the third round of the tournament.
Meanwhile, during the game, Rafael Nadal melted hearts at the Australian Open by rushing to console a ballgirl and kissing her on the cheek after one of his fearsome shots ricocheted off her.
The Spanish world number one was in the throes of wrapping up his second round clash on Rod Laver Arena against Argentine Federico Delbonis when the unfortunate girl found herself in his firing line.
Nadal went over to check how she was and gave her a quick peck on the cheek for good measure, leaving the youngster blushing.
Rafael Nadal apologizes to ball-girl in AU-Open. pic.twitter.com/Sbt5UeHcYu— İrfan Özbek (@irfanozbek) January 23, 2020
"For her it was not a good moment, I was so scared for her, the ball was quick and straight on her," Nadal said after the match, giving her his headband as a momento.
"She's a super brave girl. It has been one of the more scary moments of my career. I'm very happy she is good. She is brave. Well done."...