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Australian Open 2022: Rafa Nadal cruises past Yannick Hanfmann into round three

Rafa Nadal needed five match points before sealing victory when Yannick Hanfmann sent a forehand long.

Australian Open 2022: Rafa Nadal cruises past Yannick Hanfmann into round three

Rafa Nadal put on a clinical performance to ease past German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 and reach the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday (January 19) as the Spaniard remained on course for a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title. The only former champion left in the men’s draw at Melbourne Park, Nadal is tied on 20 majors with Swiss Roger Federer and world number one Novak Djokovic, who are both absent from the tournament.

The 2009 champion’s only previous meeting with the 126th-ranked Hanfmann came on the Roland Garros clay in 2019 when Nadal lost just six games en route to a straight-sets victory. The 30-year-old German did slightly better on a windy day at the Rod Laver Arena but it was not enough to trouble Nadal, who hit 30 winners and broke his opponent`s serve four times in the match while saving both breakpoints he faced.

Nadal needed five match points before sealing victory when Hanfmann sent a forehand long. The sixth seed will next meet either Russian Karen Khachanov or Benjamin Bonzi of France for a place in the fourth round.

Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin’s crash out from round one

India’s Rohan Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin were knocked out of the Australian Open men’s doubles event by wild card pair of Chirstopher Rungkat and Treat Huey on Wednesday. Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin began confidently but lost momentum mid-way to lose 6-3, 6-7(2), 2-6 in the opening round that lasted one hour and 48 minutes.

Phillippines’ left-hander Huey’s exceptional service games and net play was crucial in the outcome of the match while Indonesian Rungkat, who initially appeared a weak link, gradually upped his game. Rungkat’s hitting from the baseline improved remarkably as the match wore on.

The Indo-French pair got the first break chance in the fourth game when Bopanna hit a crushing forehand winner past Huey at 15-30 on the serve of Rungkat, who could not put the ball across the net on the next point. That break positioned Bopanna to serve out the set in the ninth game and he did that with ease, at love, with his booming serves.

Rungkat and Huey came out all guns blazing in the opening game of the second set, attacking Bopanna’s serve and earned two breakpoints with a flurry of winners but could convert none. Both the pairs held serves throughout the second set, which was decided by a tie-breaker.

In the 11th game, though, Roger-Vasselin and Bopanna earned two break chances but their rivals saved both. It was a winner from Roger-Vasselin and a Rungkat forehand error that put the wild cards 15-40. The wild card pair reeled off six straight points in tie-breaker from 1-2 to level the match.

The momentum changed dramatically after that with Rungkat and Huey dominating the contest by breaking their rivals with ease. They raced to a 5-1 lead with a double break. The Indonesian then served out the match.

(with agency inputs)

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