MELBOURNE, January 17, 2018
Rafael Nadal continues his quest for a 17th Grand Slam title after a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 second round round victory against Leonardo Mayer of Argentina on Wednesday.
The World No. 1 from Spain capitalized on three of his 12 break point chances to prevail after two hours and 38 minutes.
“It was an important victory for me,” Nadal told during his on-court interview. “[Mayer is] always a tough opponent. I had to hit some great shots in the tie-break. I’m happy to be in the third round after a while without being in competition… This tournament is my favourite of the year so I want to stay as long as possible.”
Next up for Nadal will be Damir Dzumhur from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Tsonga Survives Shapovalov
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Denis Shapovalov faced off for the second Grand Slam in a row in the second match on Margaret Court Arena. Despite an age and ranking deficit, Shapovalov was the comfortable winner when the pair met in New York.
But the Australian Open is Tsonga’s best major in terms of matches won. The 32-year-old Frenchman needed to show all of his exeprience to battle past the youngster. Tsonga came back from 30:30, 2-5 to win the final five games of the match and advance to the third round of the Australian Open 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6, 7-5.
“Of course I’m tired but really happy. I did a big fight today,” Tsonga said on court after the three hours and 37 minutes encounter. “It’s not easy to play against those young guns. They play great. They go for everything so it’s difficult for me to defend.
“The most important for me, it’s to fight, give my best on court until the last point. That’s what I did today. I think he deserved to win also today, but I was also courageous & I did my job at the end. I played well. I think I deserve it, too.”
Tsonga will next take on Kyle Edmund of Great Britain, who made quick work of Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in 89 minutes. Istomin upset six-time champion Novak Djokovic in the second round of last year’s Australian Open.
Taking on plucky 21-year-old Croatian Jana Fett, second seed in the women’s draw Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was in all sorts of trouble when she stared down a pair of match points at 1-5 in the deciding set before pulling off an improbable 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 escape.