Rafael Nadal puts in a commanding display to overpower Yannick Hanfmann in straight sets to cruise through to the Australian Open third round as the Spaniard hunts down a record 21st Grand Slam
- Rafael Nadal is through to the third round after seeing off Yannick Hanfmann
- The Spaniard won 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 in a dominating performance in Melbourne
- Nadal simply had too much for his German opponent, hitting 30 winners
Rafa Nadal came up with a clinical performance to ease past German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday and reach the third round of the Australian Open as he 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.
Rafael Nadal was in dominant form as he eased to a straight-sets win over Yannick Hanfmann at the Australian Open on Wednesday
The Spaniard dictated play and used his class to pull off some unstoppable shots in Melbourne
The tournament favourite is hunting a 21st Slam and hit 30 winners to move to the third round
Hanfmann put Nadal on the back foot at times but simply did not have enough for the Spaniard
Nadal will face either Karen Khachanov or Benjamin Bonzi of France in the third round
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.