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Australian Open: Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, into third round

World number one Rafael Nadal reached the third round of the Australian Open with a straight-set win over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis.

Nadal, bidding for a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title, swept aside 76th-ranked Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

The Spaniard will face compatriot and 27th seed Pablo Carreno Busta next.

There were battling five-set wins for seeds Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov on the fourth day in Melbourne, and an entertaining victory for Nick Kyrgios.

Nadal has not won the Australian Open since 2009 but he has entered this year’s first Grand Slam as the top seed.

While he was made to work against Delbonis during the second set, the Spaniard had his chances to wrap up the match quicker, converting just three of 20 break points.

Nadal also kissed a ballgirl on the cheek and gave her a headband after he accidentally struck her during a rally.

“I was so scared for her – the ball was quick and straight on to her,” Nadal said.

“She’s a super brave girl.”
Russian 16th seed Khachanov fought for four hours and 36 minutes to overcome Sweden’s Mikael Ymer.

Khachanov collapsed to the floor – and then struggled to stand with cramp – after sealing a 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8) victory over his 78th-ranked opponent.

He will face Kyrgios next after the Australian’s victory over Gilles Simon.

Fifth seed Thiem came through a five-set thriller of his own against Australian wildcard Alex Bolt.

Two-time French Open finalist Thiem overcame world number 140 Bolt 6-2 5-7 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-2.

Thiem, one of the fittest players on tour, ultimately outlasted his opponent in three hours and 26 minutes to set up a meeting with American Taylor Fritz.

“The crowd was very fair. Of course they were for Alex, he’s an Aussie, that’s completely obvious,” Thiem said.

“But it’s nice to play in front of a full crowd that’s against you than an empty one.”


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