Novak Djokovic believes his serve is at its best and will set him up heading into the second week at the Australian Open.

Djokovic was dominant in a third-round win over Yoshihito Nishioka on Rod Laver Arena on Friday, cruising to a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory.

The world number two lost just eight points on serve in a comprehensive win and the 16-time grand slam winner feels that part of his game will hold him in good stead.

"You can always improve. I think that's the beauty of the sport. I think in terms of service rhythm that I have at the moment, winning percentage from the first serves is really high," Djokovic told a news conference.

"That's probably as best as my serve can actually be in the moment, which I'm very pleased with. It allows me to go quicker through my games and win more dominantly my service games and put additional pressure on the service games of my opponents.

"That's definitely something that's useful going towards the second week of the grand slam."

Djokovic also mixed 40 winners with 23 unforced errors against Nishioka, setting up a fourth-round clash with Diego Schwartzman.

A seven-time champion in Melbourne, Djokovic said he was satisfied with where his game at.

"From back of the court, I have been playing pretty well, both forehand, backhand side. Very solid backhand, forehand today a lot of winners, not too many unforced errors," he said.

"That's kind of a game style that I would like to maintain and kind of nurture for the second week.

"Obviously I ended up this tournament last year with two fantastic performances against [Lucas] Pouille in the semis and Rafa [Nadal] in the finals. Those were some of the best performances I had ever in the grand slam semis and finals.

"I love playing on the court. I like the conditions. I'm starting to feel very, very comfortable and compact on the court. I'm going to try to keep that going."

Novak Djokovic brushed past Yoshihito Nishioka to reach the Australian Open fourth round on Friday.

The Serbian superstar produced a brilliant performance to crush Nishioka 6-3 6-2 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic, a 16-time grand slam champion, incredibly lost just eight points on serve during his victory, which came after 85 minutes.

A record seven-time winner in Melbourne, Djokovic set up a clash with Diego Schwartzman in the fourth round.

Djokovic – who thrashed Nishioka at last year's Davis Cup Finals – made a fast start, racing into a 3-0 lead that would prove decisive in the first set.

Nishioka sent a backhand long to fall behind immediately in the second set and Djokovic was in complete command throughout, particularly on serve.

Djokovic incredibly lost just one point on serve through the opening two sets, left untroubled by Nishioka.

He broke to love to begin the third set and opened up a 4-0 lead on his way to a convincing win.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Novak Djokovic [2] bt Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3 6-2 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Djokovic – 40/23
Nishioka – 15/22

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Djokovic – 17/2
Nishioka – 1/4

BREAK POINTS WON 
Djokovic – 5/6
Nishioka – 0/1

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Djokovic – 74
Nishioka – 58

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Djokovic – 93/69
Nishioka – 67/39

TOTAL POINTS 
Djokovic – 87
Nishioka – 49

Rafael Nadal will again face an opponent he has dominated previously when he meets Pablo Carreno Busta in the Australian Open third round.

Nadal remains on track to match Roger Federer on a men's record 20 grand slam titles after a fine opening two rounds in Melbourne.

But the Spaniard was far from perfect in the second round – also against a man he has dominated – and will be eyeing improvement against Carreno Busta.

We take a closer look at the 33-year-old ahead of the third round.

 

Form and results

Nadal is yet to drop a set, but was incredibly wasteful in his second-round win over Federico Delbonis. He needed two hours, 30 minutes to progress after converting just three of 20 break points against a man he had dropped just 10 games to in their previous three meetings. Nadal also converted just eight of 18 break points in his first-round victory. He is 12-1 in the Australian Open third round, and his only loss came against Lleyton Hewitt in 2004.

R1: bt Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0
R2: bt Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1

Next up

Carreno Busta has lost his previous four matches against Nadal, although three of those have been on clay. The other – on a hardcourt in Doha in 2016 – went to three sets after Carreno Busta took the first. A US Open semi-finalist in 2017, Carreno Busta's best results in majors in the past two years have come in Melbourne, where he reached the fourth round in 2018 and 2019. He needed four sets in wins over Jozef Kovalik and Peter Gojowczyk in the first two rounds.

Draw

If Nadal can get past his compatriot, a blockbuster fourth-round showdown with either Nick Kyrgios or Karen Khachanov awaits. Kyrgios has beaten Nadal in three of their seven meetings, while Khachanov is 0-7 against the Spaniard. Further ahead, a quarter-final meeting with fifth seed Dominic Thiem, or Frenchman Gael Monfils, could follow.

What he said

"I have been practising every day a little bit better. Of course, in the match situation, it's a little bit different. I am confident that I'm going to play better because every day in the third set I have been able to show a good level of tennis. I need to do it before the next time."

Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev booked their spots in the Australian Open third round, while Alexander Zverev and Stan Wawrinka also progressed.

Nadal remained on track in his bid to win a 20th grand slam title despite wasting chances against Federico Delbonis in Melbourne on Thursday.

The seeds have been relatively untroubled in the opening rounds in Australia, and they are on a collision course heading into the end of the first week and into the second.

Medvedev, Zverev and Wawrinka were also among the winners in the top half of the draw.

 

NADAL BATTLES INTO ALL-SPANISH THIRD-ROUND CLASH

Nadal converted just three of 20 break points to overcome Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

The Spanish star was wasteful before winning in two hours, 30 minutes, while he apologetically kissed a ball girl after striking her with a wayward forehand late in the victory.

Awaiting Nadal is Pablo Carreno Busta, the 27th seed having got past German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-4.

Nadal has won his previous four meetings with Carreno Busta.

 

MEDVEDEV, ZVEREV AND WAWRINKA ADVANCE

Runner-up to Nadal at last year's US Open, fourth seed Medvedev was too strong for Spain's Pedro Martinez as he won 7-5 6-1 6-3.

Another member of the 'Next Gen', Zverev got the job done against Egor Gerasimov, winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5.

Zverev will meet Fernando Verdasco after the Spanish veteran upset 26th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets.

Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, was pushed hard by Andreas Seppi, but the Swiss made it 10 wins in 14 meetings with the Italian veteran, securing a 4-6 7-5 6-3 3-6 6-4 victory.

John Isner awaits Wawrinka after the American served 32 aces in a 6-4 6-3 6-3 win against Chilean qualifier Alejandro Tabilo.

Dominic Thiem (fifth seed) and David Goffin (11th) were pushed to five sets before overcoming Alex Bolt and Pierre-Hugues Herbert respectively.

 

KYRGIOS, KHACHANOV SET UP CINCINNATI REMATCH

Nick Kyrgios and Karen Khachanov were both tested before setting up a third-round clash.

Kyrgios got past Gilles Simon 6-2 6-4 4-6 7-5, while Khachanov needed four hours, 34 minutes to edge Mikael Ymer 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8).

Khachanov won his previous meeting with Kyrgios in Cincinnati last year, but it was a clash best remembered for the Australian's outburst at umpire Fergus Murphy that resulted in a 16-week suspended ban and fine.

Gael Monfils, Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz were among the other seeds to win through on Thursday.

A wasteful Rafael Nadal fought past Federico Delbonis in the Australian Open second round on Thursday.

Nadal wasted numerous break points on Rod Laver Arena, needing two hours, 30 minutes to overcome Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

The world number one was below his best, but was still good for Delbonis, who had won just 10 games in his previous three meetings with Nadal.

The Spanish star remained on track in his bid to join Roger Federer on a men's record 20 grand slam titles, though, with countryman Pablo Carreno Busta awaiting him in the third round.

Nadal squandered six break points in a marathon 22-point second game, but would take his next chance when Delbonis sent a tame backhand into the net.

That solitary break would be enough for Nadal to win the opening set, crushing a forehand winner to take it in 49 minutes.

Delbonis dug himself out of a 0-40 hole to hold in the first game of the second set and saved two more break points in the fifth game.

Another three chances came and went for Nadal in the seventh game before an ace from Delbonis – who looked to be working his way into the contest – denied the Spaniard again in the 11th game.

A wonderful lob helped Nadal set up a 3-1 lead in the tie-break, an advantage he would not relinquish on his way to a two-sets-to-love lead.

Delbonis' resistance was finally broken and so was his serve in the fourth game of the third set as Nadal – who kissed a ball girl after a wayward forehand – booked his spot in the third round.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Rafael Nadal [1] bt Federico Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Nadal – 33/29
Delbonis – 22/43

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Nadal – 8/1
Delbonis – 2/8

BREAK POINTS WON 
Nadal – 3/20
Delbonis – 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Nadal – 69
Delbonis – 63 

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Nadal – 85/61
Delbonis – 65/44

TOTAL POINTS 
Nadal – 116
Delbonis – 83

Roger Federer continues to dazzle the Melbourne public as he prepares to renew acquaintances with John Millman in the Australian Open third round on Friday.

Trying to banish the memories of last year's shock fourth-round exit, third seed Federer has looked a class above in his two matches so far at Melbourne Park.

The 20-time grand slam champion is eyeing a record-equalling seventh Australian Open title this year.

We take a closer look at Federer's form ahead of his rematch against Australian favourite Millman.

 

Form and results

While stiffer tests are to come, any slight doubts over Federer and his lack of preparation ahead of the Australian Open have been dismissed. The 38-year-old progressed to the third round at Melbourne Park for the 21st straight year by easing past Filip Krajinovic on Wednesday. Federer tallied 42 winners and just 14 unforced errors.

R1: bt Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2
R2: bt Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1

Next up

It is a reunion for Federer and Millman, who sensationally eliminated the superstar from the US Open last 16 in 2018. Riding a wave of local support, the 47th-ranked Millman has seen off Ugo Humbert and 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz en route to his first third-round appearance at the Australian Open since 2016.

Draw

Red-hot American Tommy Paul or Marton Fucsovics would be next for Federer, should the Swiss sensation make it through. There has been plenty of buzz and hype surrounding 22-year-old Paul, who is beginning to realise his potential at Melbourne Park.

What he said

"I think the next match is really going to be a test for me because John is going to be there. He's fit like a fiddle. I've lost to him in the past in a best-of-five set match. I almost lost to him in Brisbane, as well, the first time I played against him. He's from this country, so naturally also it's going to be different intensity. I think this is going to be a good test for me."

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is clicking into gear ahead of Friday's third-round clash with Yoshihito Nishioka in Melbourne.

Djokovic has only dropped one set en route to round three at Melbourne Park, where a record-extending eighth title is up for grabs.

The second seed has already reached a milestone at the year's first grand slam, celebrating his 900th ATP singles match victory.

We take a closer look at Djokovic's form as he eyes another trip to the fourth round at the Australian Open.

Form and results

It was a relentless performance from Djokovic in the second round on Wednesday. After dropping a set and winning in the Australian Open first round for the first time in his career by overcoming tenacious German Jan-Lennard Struff on Monday, Djokovic was a class above midweek. The Serb star won 93 per cent of his first serves in a demolition of Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito.

R1: bt Struff 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1
R2: bt Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2

Next up

Another game, another Japanese opponent for Djokovic. World number 71 Nishioka earned a showdown with the defending champion courtesy of his surprise win again Dan Evans on Wednesday. Djokovic and Nishioka have met once previously via last year's Davis Cup Finals, where the former cruised 6-1 6-2 for Serbia.

Draw

It could be an all-Serbian affair in the fourth round. If Djokovic, as expected, sees off Nishioka, either countryman Dusan Lajovic or Argentina's Diego Schwartzman await. Looking further ahead and last year's semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas - the sixth seed - could be a quarter-final opponent.

What he said

"I do have to keep going. I feel comfortable and confident playing in Australia. History of my results here have been very positive."

Roger Federer has no desire to revisit the last time he played John Millman at a major but insists he'll be ready for the home favourite at the Australian Open on Friday.

Federer made serene progress into round three in Melbourne with a 6-1 6-4 6-1 defeat of Filip Krajinovic and will now face Millman, a 6-4 7-5 6-3 victor over Hubert Hurkacz.

Their only previous grand slam meeting came at the 2018 US Open when the Australian won a round of 16 encounter in four sets in blistering heat in New York.

Asked if that match had pushed him further than any other physically, he said: "Yeah, definitely. I don't know anything remotely close. I was just happy it was over.

"I never had that [before]. I rather go back in time [and think I'd like to] play that match again. But I don't have that feeling about that match. I was just happy the US Open was over and I could focus.

"I think it was a combination of many things that went wrong for me on that day, plus the opponent was ready and tough as nails.

"I have no regrets. I tried everything in the match itself, it was just not meant to be that day. I hit the wall."

Conditions in Melbourne have been much kinder for Federer so far, both meteorologically and in terms of the draw.

The third seed was barely tested by first-round opponent Steve Johnson or Krajinovic, but rubbished suggestions that would leave him undercooked.

"I prefer this much more than being overcooked," said the Swiss.

"I prefer it this way because you have always extra left in the tank if you need it."

Federer is likely to have to dig deeper against Millman, especially as he may be in the unusual position of not being the crowd favourite.

Millman has already suggested the match should be moved away from Rod Laver Arena due to the number of corporate fans that inhabit the main show court at Melbourne Park - a request that is likely to fall on deaf ears - but Federer is more than happy to play in a raucous atmosphere.

He said: "I'm always happy when the crowd gets involved.

"I don't choose which court I play on. I don't know if he was joking or if he was serious [about moving].

"You would think a match like this should be played on Rod Laver Arena maybe. I don't know if the other seeds have good match-ups as well.

"He knows Margaret Court Arena better [and] Melbourne Arena but I haven't thought about it.

"I figured this was always going to be on Rod Laver Arena but I'm ready to go anywhere, whatever it takes."

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were untroubled, but Grigor Dimitrov was among five seeds to fall at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Federer produced an excellent performance in a straight-sets thrashing of Filip Krajinovic on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss great had received good news before even going on court after three seeds fell in his quarter of the draw, with Fabio Fognini only narrowly avoiding that fate.

Earlier, Djokovic dropped just seven games on his way to a thrashing of Tatsuma Ito in Melbourne.

 

FEDERER, DJOKOVIC EASE THROUGH

Having lost a set in the opening-round victory over Jan-Lennard Struff, Djokovic suffered no such setback against Ito, winning 6-1 6-4 6-2.

A record seven-time champion in Melbourne and 16-time grand slam winner, Djokovic brushed past Ito on the back of 31 winners.

Federer was even more impressive later in the day, crushing Djokovic's Serbian compatriot Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1.

The 20-time grand slam champion looked in fabulous form with 42 winners and just 14 unforced errors, reaching the third round in Melbourne for the 21st straight year.

Federer will next face John Millman, who upset 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 7-5 6-3. The Australian stunned Federer at the US Open in 2018.

 

DIMITROV AMONG SEEDS TO CRASH OUT

Dimitrov, a semi-finalist in 2017, bowed out in a surprise 6-4 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (10-3) loss to Tommy Paul.

The Bulgarian 18th seed went up by a break twice in the final set, but lost seven consecutive points from 3-3 in the match tie-break.

Matteo Berrettini, the eighth seed who reached the US Open semi-finals, was edged out by Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 4-6 2-6 7-5.

Sandgren reached the quarter-finals in 2018 and will face Sam Querrey in an all-American third-round clash.

British 30th seed Dan Evans also made a second-round exit, losing to Djokovic's next opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-4 6-3 6-4.

 

CILIC, RAONIC ADVANCE AS TSITSIPAS GETS FREE PASS

Marin Cilic, runner-up in 2018, eliminated 21st seed Benoit Paire in a thriller.

The Croatian needed three hours, 33 minutes to overcome Paire 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 6-1 7-6 (10-3).

Next up for Cilic is a man he has lost to twice at the Australian Open in Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spanish ninth seed too good for Michael Mmoh 5-7 6-2 6-4 6-1.

Milos Raonic has reached at least the Australian Open quarter-finals four times and the Canadian has shown impressive form early on this year.

The 29-year-old served 19 aces in a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Cristian Garin on Wednesday and next faces 2019 semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas advanced without hitting a ball after Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to a muscle strain.

 

FOGNINI TAKEN THE DISTANCE BY THOMPSON

It is proving to be an arduous campaign for Fognini, who surrendered a two-set lead before holding his nerve in a decisive tie-break with home hope Jordan Thompson.

The Italian was taken the distance in his first-round meeting with Reilly Opelka after losing the first two sets, and this time it was the 12th seed who almost choked on a healthy lead.

Fognini hurt himself when punching his racket in frustration and was called for a foot-fault in the fifth-set breaker, but he got the job done in a memorable 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-6 (10-4) triumph that took more than four hours to complete. 

Roger Federer continued his perfect record in the Australian Open second round with an impressive win over Filip Krajinovic on Wednesday.

Federer moved into the third round in Melbourne for the 21st straight year by beating Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss great has never lost before the third round at the year's first grand slam and he retained that record with another strong performance.

Federer quickly put Krajinovic on the back foot and while his level dropped slightly, the 20-time grand slam champion was in fine form to progress after one hour and 32 minutes.

He stamped his authority early, breaking in the second game, which featured a brilliant backhand pass down the line.

It was 4-0 after just 13 minutes as Federer produced a forehand winner to break again and take complete control of the contest and the first set was over soon after.

Federer broke again to begin the second set as his flawless display left Krajinovic struggling to find answers, while he produced a stunning cross-court forehand winner on the run in the fifth game.

But as Federer's incredibly high level started to drop, Krajinovic pounced to break back in the eighth game when the six-time Australian Open champion sent a backhand long.

Federer restored his lead in the next game when Krajinovic netted a backhand volley and made no mistake in serving out the second set.

For the third straight set, Federer broke in Krajinovic's first service game, handed the advantage following a double fault.

Krajinovic needed treatment on his right arm early in the third set, but that did little to slow Federer, who advanced to a meeting with John Millman.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Roger Federer [3] bt Filip Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Federer – 42/14
Krajinovic – 22/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Federer – 14/0
Krajinovic – 4/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Federer – 7/14
Krajinovic – 1/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Federer – 69
Krajinovic – 74

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Federer – 77/62
Krajinovic – 58/20

TOTAL POINTS
Federer – 89
Krajinovic – 56

Novak Djokovic revealed he offered Filip Krajinovic some advice ahead of his Serbian countryman's Australian Open clash with Roger Federer.

Federer and Krajinovic will do battle on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, while Djokovic eased into the third round earlier in the day.

Djokovic said he had spoken to Krajinovic, 27, ahead of the second-round clash with the Swiss great.

"We spoke last night. I thought he fought well to win his opening-round match. He was very close to losing that match. He won in five sets. That was great for his confidence," he told a news conference after beating Tatsuma Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2.

"Obviously today is a completely different match-up against Roger. We did speak a little bit about things that he can do to be, I guess, his best self on the court. Again, it doesn't depend only on him.

"It depends how well Roger starts and how well Roger plays. It can be a very interesting match-up. I think Krajinovic is a very talented player and has been around the Tour for a while, knows Roger's game.

"It just depends on how it starts. It can be a long one. It can be a short one. It's going to be interesting to see."

Djokovic continued his fine start to 2020, winning an eighth straight singles match and setting up a clash with Yoshihito Nishioka.

The 16-time grand slam champion was particularly pleased with his serve after sending down 16 aces and not facing a break point against Ito.

"My serve was working extremely well in first round and second round. That's something I worked on in the off-season," Djokovic said.

"That's one of the priorities I guess of the training sessions, trying to get that I think advantage of winning a lot of easy points on the first serve.

"It has been paying off so far I think in the ATP Cup and here with the two matches."

Novak Djokovic had no trouble moving through to the third round of the Australian Open, outclassing wildcard Tatsuma Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2 as his title defence gathered momentum. 

Djokovic was hoping history did not repeat itself on Wednesday, having lost to a wildcard - Denis Istomin - in the second round at Melbourne Park three years ago.

But Djokovic was never threatened as the 16-time grand slam champion swept aside Ito in straight sets on Rod Laver Arena midweek.

In warm but breezy conditions, Djokovic barely raised a sweat as the second seed asserted his authority from the outset against the Japanese underdog.

Djokovic, eyeing his record-extending eighth Australian Open crown, picked his shots with comfort from the baseline, hitting seven winners in a lopsided 22-minute first set.

After racing through the opener, Djokovic - who dropped a set and won in the Australian Open first round for the first time in his career by getting past Jan-Lennard Struff on Monday - faced a sterner test in the second.

Having only won 50 per cent of his first serves in the opening set, Ito improved by winning 20 of 28, though he was broken in the ninth game and it proved decisive for Djokovic.

The third set was similar to the first as Djokovic dismantled Ito with a relentless display to earn another Japanese date - this time against Yoshihito Nishioka.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Novak Djokovic [2] bt Tatsuma Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 31/17
Ito – 18/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic – 16/5
Ito – 9/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 5/9
Ito – 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Djokovic – 72
Ito – 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Djokovic – 93/56
Ito – 66/33

TOTAL POINTS
Djokovic – 88
Ito – 53

Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced to the Australian Open third round without hitting a ball after benefitting from Philipp Kohlschreiber's withdrawal.

Sixth seed Tsitsipas was scheduled to face Kohlschreiber on Wednesday, however, the German veteran succumbed to a muscle strain.

Greek star Tsitsipas - last year's semi-finalist - will face either 32nd seed Milos Raonic or Cristian Garin for a spot in the fourth round at Melbourne Park.

Tsitsipas announced himself after stunning Roger Federer en route to the Australian Open semis in 2019, the 21-year-old's run ended by 19-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal.

 

Can Rafael Nadal win his first Australian Open since 2009? The world number one continues his quest against Federico Delbonis in the second round on Thursday.

Only one adrift of Roger Federer's record haul of 20 grand slams, Nadal has reached four finals at Melbourne Park without success since claiming his sole Norman Brookes Challenge Cup 11 years ago.

Nadal did, however, sweep the French and US Open titles last year after he was completely outclassed by Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open decider.

We take a closer look at the 33-year-old as he prepares for another match in Melbourne.

 

Form and results

Nadal had little problems in his straight-sets win against Bolivia's Hugo Dellien. Forced to grind early, the top seed eventually outclassed the world number 73 in just over two hours on Rod Laver Arena. A total of 38 winners and eight breaks proved the difference for the relentlessly consistent Nadal.

R1: bt Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0

Next up

Nadal - who boasts a 3-0 head-to-head record - will look to maintain his perfect run against Delbonis, though this is the first clash outside of South America. Argentine veteran Delbonis advanced to the second round thanks to a straight-sets victory over Joao Sousa on Tuesday. This is only the second time Delbonis has made it beyond the first round of the Australian Open - he reached the third round in 2016.

Draw

An all-Spanish affair could await Nadal in the third round, with Pablo Carreno Busta looming depending on results. Things could get juicy in the fourth round if the superstar makes it that far. Nick Kyrgios, who has history with Nadal, might stand in the way of a quarter-final berth.

What he said

"I have been a break up twice in the fifth set and I lost. Another time I have been injured in a final, of course, against a great opponent. At that time against an opponent that in that moment I have been, like, 14-0 against him on the head-to-head record. I had a problem on my luck in the final. Then other times, like 2018, I get injured against [Marin] Cilic. I went through a couple of things, more than in New York honestly. But I don't know. Maybe the conditions are better for me in New York than here."

Colombia's Wimbledon and US Open doubles champion Robert Farah was formally placed on provisional suspension on Tuesday following his positive test for a banned steroid.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said the top-ranked men's doubles player had not exercised his right to contend why he should not be temporarily prevented from competing.

Farah and the ITF had confirmed the positive out-of-competition test on January 14, when it was revealed the sample was taken on October 17, 2019, and contained the steroid Bolderone.

He is not entered in the ongoing Australian Open and has blamed the positive test on contaminated meat, with Boldenone frequently used by Colombian farmers to boost growth in cows.

As a matter of procedure, Farah has now been put under the mandatory suspension pending a hearing to resolve the case.

The ITF issued a statement that said: "Robert Farah has been provisionally suspended under article 8.3.1(c) of the 2019 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, pending determination of the charge against him at a full hearing..."

It added: "Mr Farah had (and retains) the right to apply to the chair of the independent tribunal convened to hear his case why the provisional suspension should not be imposed, but has chosen not to exercise that right to date."

Farah, who turned 33 on Monday, partnered his fellow Colombian Juan Sebastian Cabal to last year's two grand slam wins.

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