Emma Raducanu revealed members of her support team proposed she should abandon her Australian Open campaign before Thursday's defeat to Danka Kovinic.

The 19-year-old US Open champion was badly affected by a blister on her right hand as she slid to a 6-4 4-6 6-3 defeat on Margaret Court Arena.

Raducanu made a strong start in the opening set before the pain began to kick in, and she said she won the second set "with basically one shot" after being unable to consistently club heavy ground strokes.

But Raducanu could not maintain that level into the decider, suffering her first grand slam defeat in a completed match, having previously pulled out injured during a Wimbledon fourth-round clash with Ajla Tomljanovic before streaking to a sensational first major in New York.

Raducanu did not specify who exactly had suggested she ought not take to the court, but said: "There were some people in my team that maybe didn't want me to play."

A recent case of COVID-19 interrupted Raducanu's preparation for her first major since teaming up with new coach Torben Beltz.

"Because of 21 days, no tennis, my hands got pretty soft," Raducanu said.

She explained blisters had begun to form on her hand in training soon after arriving in Australia, with the current problem – "right in the crease" – having been affecting her since just prior to the Australian Open beginning.

The problem has been getting worse rather than better and Raducanu said the blister had become "pretty deep".

"It's a bit annoying," she said, "because I know it's something that will heal in a few days. It's just unfortunate timing. I have had blisters before but never this bad. It's quite deep, and it's just in a very awkward position that is so difficult to tape."

She said every shot was taking a toll on the blister, with the friction meaning each impact was "very painful".

The forehand slice became a big shot for Raducanu, and it was to her credit that she almost eked a win out of such difficult circumstances.

In the end, world number 98 Kovinic found ways to overcome a hampered opponent, setting up a daunting third-round clash with Simona Halep.

Raducanu said: "I thought it was a pretty good learning experience for me. I discovered tools about myself and my game that I didn't know I had before. That slice forehand is not so bad, and I have some sort of hand skills. That was a positive surprise.

"To get that second set with basically one shot, I can't believe it really.

"Because I'm still young, I feel like I can learn a backhand, I can learn some sort of tactics, but it's quite hard to learn or teach someone that fight and grittiness to hang in there when things are pretty much all against you. So, I'm quite proud of that."

Daniil Medvedev did not hold back following his victory over Nick Kyrgios as he labelled spectators who jeered him during the second-round match of having "a low IQ".

The world number two continued his quest for a second grand slam crown, and a first at the Australian Open, with a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 4-6 6-2 win over Kyrgios on Thursday.

Medvedev, who is the highest-seeded player at Melbourne Park following Novak Djokovic's withdrawal, prevailed against the home favourite in just under three hours.

He played the role of pantomime villain in front of a partisan crowd fully behind Kyrgios, which the Russian took exception to after sealing a place in the third round.

Medvedev, who will take on Botic van de Zandschulp for a place in the last 16, was particularly unhappy with those who made noise between his serves at Rod Laver Arena.

"It's a little bit disappointing," he told Eurosport. "I guess it's normal, everyone experiences it, especially when you play a home favourite and not just any home favourite, but Nick.

"A few moments on my serve, where he managed to make some good returns, and then break point on second serve and people are cheering like you've made a double-fault.

"That's just disappointing. It's not everybody who's doing it, but those who are doing it probably have a low IQ.

"When you get booed between first and second serves you have to stay calm."

The crowd interrupted the interview, at which point on-court reporter and two-time Australian Open winner Jim Courier attempted to play peacemaker.

Courier pointed out that the noisy crowd were shouting 'siuu' in homage to Cristiano Ronaldo's now-trademark celebration.

"Guys I can't hear him, please show some respect for Jim Courier, he won here guys," Medvedev said.

"Let him speak guys. If you respect somebody, at least respect Jim Courier. I cannot hear him guys."

Kyrgios described the 'siuu' chants as like "being in a zoo" after his first-round match, while Andy Murray admitted to being "irritated" by the persistent chanting.

"What I'm saying is that between first and second serves is not easy," Medvedev added. "I remember the games I lost on the break points it was the case and it's tough to play."

Further embracing his role as public enemy number one after eliminating Kyrgios, Medvedev signed the letters "SIUUUU" in the camera lens before exiting the court.

After winning the US Open, Medvedev is aiming to become the first man in the Open Era to follow up his maiden grand slam title with another in his next major appearance.

Last-year's beaten finalist saw off Henri Laaksonen in straight sets in round one and is now the strong favourite to advance past world number 57 Van de Zandschulp.

Medvedev hit 31 aces against Kyrgios – the highest tally in a single grand slam main draw match – en route to reaching the third round in Melbourne for a fourth straight time.

Reflecting on his impressive win, Medvedev said: "Five years ago I probably would break two racquets, just get angry, start shouting at my box for nothing.

"And it probably would not help me win the match. I could win some [matches] like this, but you cannot win grand slams like this.

"So it makes me really happy because I can still have some tantrums, we all know it, but I've been working on myself. 

"I've been working pretty hard last couple of years and I’m trying to mature as a tennis player and a person.

"The match like tonight, and a few last year, show that I'm capable of being really strong mentally no matter what happens on the court and I'm really happy about that."

A hampered Emma Raducanu crashed out of the Australian Open with a defeat to Danka Kovinic in the second round on Thursday.

World number 98 Kovinic beat the US Open champion 6-4 4-6 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena to become the first player representing Montenegro to reach the third round of a grand slam.

Raducanu was troubled by a blister on her right hand and although the 17th seed showed her fighting spirit to take a topsy-turvy match the distance, she was unable to avoid an early exit.

It had all started so well for the 19-year-old Raducanu, but Kovinic won five games in a row from 3-0 down in the first set and although the Brit got back on serve at 5-4, she was fell behind after being broken for a fourth time.

Clearly restricted by her damaged hand, the favourite mixed up her approach intelligently with a measured sliced forehand and levelled the match courtesy of two breaks, an overcooked forehand from Kovinic ending the set.

Kovinic saved four break points early in the decider and broke when her opponent sent a backhand long, but the battling world number 18 hit straight back to get back on serve at 3-2.

However, a stroke of good fortune via the net cord gave Kovinic another break point, which she won with a brilliant lob and went on to serve out the match.

Kovinic will face two-time major winner Simona Halep or Beatriz Haddad Maia for a place in the fourth round at Melbourne Park, having struck 40 winners to Raducanu's 27 in the biggest win of her career.

Taro Daniel delivered a fine display as he defeated former world number one Andy Murray in straight sets at the Australian Open.

Murray, a five-time finalist in Melbourne, defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 3-6 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 in his first-round match on Tuesday, yet the Scot was no match for Japan's Daniel two days later.

Perhaps fatigue played its part, with Murray struggling to find his rhythm against the qualifier, who is ranked 120th in the world.

Murray had never before lost to a player ranked as low as Daniel, who has reached the third round of a grand slam for the first time.

Daniel sealed a 6-4 6-4 6-4 success with a neat backhand volley, taking the match at the first time of asking.

Murray, who had been targetting a "deep run" in the tournament, walked off court in disgruntled fashion, offering a quick acknowledgement to the crowd after his first appearance in the season's opening major since 2019.

Asked in his post-match news conference if he planned to return to Melbourne next year, Murray told reporters: "Yes, but not if I do what I did tonight too often.

"I want to perform well on the big events and what I did tonight was not good enough. Reaching the second round of grand slams doesn't particularly motivate me."

While Murray was far from the level he displayed against Basilashvili, Daniel's performance was more than worthy of victory.

"Winning a big match like this is unbelievable," the 28-year-old said. "It was an amazing level from me, I was getting nervous in the third set.

"I tried not to make a big deal about this – everyone said I was playing Murray – but I tried to treat it like another match."

Murray, meanwhile, did not use fatigue as an excuse.

"I felt alright physically so I was pleased from that perspective," he said. "I just made way too many errors on the court."

The statistics back up Murray's claim. He won just two out of 11 break points and made 49 unforced errors, with Daniel only making 21.

Daniel struck 12 aces to Murray's seven, recording a first-serve win percentage of 79.

Murray's first-serve win percentage was down at 66, while he also made three double faults to Daniel's two.

Australian Open chief executive Craig Tiley will not stand down from his position over the handling of the Novak Djokovic case and has refuted claims that Tennis Australia funded the world number one's legal expenses.

Tiley was speaking after the Federal Court published the written reasons for rejecting Djokovic's appeal to remain in Australia, stating it was "plainly open" to Immigration Minister Alex Hawke that the reigning Australian Open champion was opposed to a COVID-19 vaccination.

Djokovic failed in his second bid to overturn a decision from the government to cancel his visa on public health grounds at the Federal Court in Melbourne on Sunday, a day before the Australian Open started.

The 20-time grand slam winner arrived back in Belgrade on Monday, bringing an end to a saga that began after he was held at an airport in Melbourne on January 6 due to his travel declaration form containing incorrect information.

It was reported this week that Tennis Australia covered all of Djokovic's legal fees, but Tiley – who was jeered by spectators on Thursday while on-court to present flowers to the retiring Samantha Stosur – denied that was the case.

"I have seen those reports and we don't really go into the detail of financial arrangements we have with players," he told Channel 9. "But those reports are simply untrue."

Asked if he intended to step aside as chief executive due to the perceived mishandling of the saga, Tiley replied "no" before turning focus to the remainder of the tournament.

"I am very focused today on delivering a great event," he said.

"I am proud of being able to stand up here and you can see what is behind us. I am proud of what the team has done and what we have delivered so far."

Djokovic won his first appeal to avoid deportation from Australia, but Hawke used separate powers to again cancel the 34-year-old's visa.

That decision was taken amid much backlash in Australia and was upheld unanimously by three judges of the Federal Court's full bench.

Four days on from that verdict, which denied Djokovic the chance to win a record-extending 10th Australian Open crown, Chief Justice James Allsop delivered the court's reasons for rejecting the challenge.

It was found that it was reasonable for Hawke to be concerned by Djokovic's high-profile presence in the country as it "may encourage rallies and protests that may lead to heightened community transmission."

"An iconic tennis star may influence people of all ages, young or old, but perhaps especially the young and the impressionable, to emulate him," Allsop added in his report.

"This is not fanciful; it does not need evidence.

"Even if Mr Djokovic did not win the Australian Open, the capacity of his presence in Australia playing tennis to encourage those who would emulate or wish to be like him is a rational foundation for the view that he might foster anti-vaccination sentiment.

"I consider that behaviour by influential persons and role models, which demonstrates a failure to comply with, or a disregard of, public health measures has the potential to undermine the efficacy and consistency of the Australian Government’s and State and Territory Governments' management of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

"Mr Djokovic is such a person of influence and status. Having regard to the matters set out above regarding Mr Djokovic's conduct after receiving a positive COVID-19 result, his publicly stated views, as well as his unvaccinated status, I consider that his ongoing presence in Australia may pose a risk to the good order of the Australian community."

Samantha Stosur reflected on achieving "more than I ever thought was possible" after her singles career came to an end with a defeat to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Stosur, 37, confirmed that this year's Australian Open would be her final appearance in a singles draw. 

The one-time grand slam champion will call time on her career altogether at the end of the year, but will remain on the doubles circuit until then.

Though she has tasted more success in the doubles, winning two Tour Finals and seven grand slams, including last year's US Open, Stosur has more than held her own as a single.

Indeed, she reached a career-high world number four ranking and clinched her sole singles grand slam success at Flushing Meadows in 2011, having previously reached the final of the French Open.

The Australian made her singles debut in the main draw at Melbourne Park 2002, having failed to progress through the qualifying rounds in the previous two years.

In fitting fashion, her second-round match against Pavlyuchenkova on Thursday proved her last.

"I have done more than I ever thought was possible," she said in an on-court interview after the 6-2 6-2 defeat. 

"I dreamed of winning a grand slam and doing close to the things I did. To do what I have done dreaming as a little kid is phenomenal.

"I couldn't have asked for more. I've had many great moments here in Australia and around the world. Yeah, it's been amazing.

"Thank you to everyone who has been along with me the 20 years. The coaches, they know who they are, they have all helped me in some way on and off the court, shaped me into the person I am.

"The family – they are all down there now – mum and dad, my brothers for giving up everything early on driving me to tournaments on the weekend, getting dragged along for Sam's tennis. But I think it was all worth it, so thanks for giving everything you've got as well."

Stosur was playing in her 797th career singles match, though she was never any match for 10th seed Pavlyuchenkova, who felt the emotion of the occasion.

"It was actually very emotional for me," said the Russian. 

"I had goosebumps when everybody was clapping for Sam. She is such a wonderful human being and also an amazing tennis player, so thank you, Sam."

Alize Cornet is simply living in the moment at the Australian Open, after she suggested 2022 will be her final year on the court.

Cornet defeated reigning WTA Finals champion Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-3 on Thursday to reach the third round of the Australian Open for the sixth time in her career.

The 31-year-old did not offer up a single break point across the 87-minute encounter with 2020 Australian Open finalist Muguruza, who entered the tournament ranked third in the world.

It marked Cornet's third straight win over Spain's Muguruza, who is a two-time grand slam champion.

Cornet is playing in her 63rd grand slam and 17th Australian Open, yet the Frenchwoman has never progressed deeper than the fourth round at a major.

This is Cornet's 60th successive appearance in the main draw at a grand slam, meaning she is just two shy of the record held by Ai Sugiyama (62).

Should Cornet, who will play Tamara Zidansek in round three, feature in the main draw of each of this year's majors, she will set the outright record.

However, should she achieve that feat, it may well mark the end of her career.

"I'm telling myself that I'm playing probably my last year. I'm not sure yet," she told reporters.

"When I stepped on the court, I was like, You know what, just enjoy the moment because you don't know if you're going to come back. I think that's what made the difference.

"Playing a whole year, playing 100 per cent, trying to beat this record of consecutive play in a grand slam. After that, I think it will be a good time for me to retire. 

"I gave so much to this game and to this tennis life. I feel I'm pretty much ready for the next chapter.

"It's been a while [since I] beat a Top 5 player in a slam, so it's a really good feeling. 

"I really enjoyed it today, which doesn't mean I will enjoy it tomorrow! That's why when the fun is here, you have to take it. You never know how you're going to feel in the next match."

 

Muguruza was not the only big name to drop out on Thursday, with sixth seed Anett Kontaveit falling foul of teenager Clara Tauson.

The 19-year-old Dane needed just 79 minutes to seal a 6-2 6-4 victory that brings up her first win over a Top 10 opponent in only her second such match.

Kontaveit won 28 of her last 32 matches in 2021 to break into the Top 10.

"It's the first time I'm in the third round of a slam," said Tauson. 

"Playing a player like her to reach it, it's a really big achievement for me. Obviously, it was one of the things I really wanted to do, to beat the good players in the bigger tournaments.

"Doing it in a slam is a really great feeling. It's just a lot of hard work that I've put into it."

An Olympic gold medal would be most athletes' prized possession, but Alexander Zverev's ownership has perhaps been a little more carefree – or it was until he found himself wondering if his brother had sold it on eBay.

Zverev claimed arguably the biggest title of his career last year when claiming gold in Tokyo, adding that to his 2018 ATP Finals success – he went on to repeat that triumph at the year-end tournament in Turin.

The German beat Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals at the Olympics before going on to defeat Karen Khachanov in straight sets to win the tournament.

That made him the first German man to win a gold in the singles and first to win any medal since Tommy Haas got silver 21 years earlier.

While some might tend to their gold medal on a daily basis, polishing it generously as it takes pride of place on the mantelpiece, it turns out Zverev has not actually seen his for a while.

His older brother Mischa has had it for a few months, leaving the younger sibling not even sure if it is still in the family's possession.

After beating Australian's John Millman to reach the third round of the Australian Open, Zverev was asked where he keeps his gold medal, to which he replied: "That's actually a good question because my brother took it for a media appearance.

"He didn't give it back to me yet. I don't know where it is for the past five months. Hopefully he hasn't sold it on eBay or something."

 

Zverev will presumably be a little more attentive to any silverware he claims in Melbourne this year, with the 24-year-old still chasing his first major.

Seeded third this month, Zverev is certainly considered one of the favourites after an excellent 2021 in which he won six titles, more than anyone else on the ATP Tour.

Zverev was initially on course to meet Djokovic in the semis, but the Serbian's absence means many will consider him the favourite to reach the showpiece from his side of the draw and he has made a solid start.

After dispatching fellow German Daniel Altmaier, Zverev saw off the tricky Millman, a big-serving Australian who understandably had the crowd's backing on Rod Laver Arena, coming through both games in straight sets.

"My tactic today was to hit the ball as slow as possible," he said. "That was my mindset going into the match, but hopefully I can hit it even harder next match and harder the next match after that.

"I could really feel that you guys have been locked down for two years. I'm prepared that everybody will hate me after the match. It's quite accurate and that's my mindset.

"I'll get a lot of boos and hopefully everybody will cheer against me. I'm kidding."

Andy Murray knows it would have been easy to retire from tennis after his hip surgery but is instead revelling at being able to compete at the Australian Open once again.

Former world number one Murray is featuring in the season's first grand slam for the first time in three years.

In true Murray fashion, he overcame Georgian 21st-seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in five sets in a mammoth first-round tie to set up a clash with Japan's Taro Daniel on Thursday.

That Murray is here at all is remarkable given the scenes in 2019 when the now 34-year-old gave an emotional news conference following a first-round defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut questioning whether he would be able to continue playing.

Speaking about his Melbourne return, Murray told BBC Sport: "To be finally back at the Australian Open again this year, playing on the same court as 2019 and then beating Basilashvili in five sets, was a brilliant experience.

"In 2019 it didn't feel like it was me out there on the court. I was severely hampered physically and had little to no preparation. I didn't know if I was going to be able to play again.

"After the hip surgery, and loads of stops and starts with more niggles, playing in grand slams again is a place which I have worked so hard to get to.

"It would have been easy to stop playing, but I kept trying and trying. I'm proud of that work and effort."

Murray was unable to compete in Melbourne in 2021 after testing positive for COVID-19.

"There was another setback last year when I couldn't come to Australia because I tested positive for coronavirus shortly before I was supposed to fly out," he continued.

"That was brutal for me. I had trained really hard through the end of November and December, I was playing really well. I had played lots of practice, I felt really fit and then that positive test happened. I was gutted.

"I was healthy, I'd just had the virus and recovered from it. I understood the rules and situation here in Melbourne but I just wished I would have been able to play."

Murray reached the final of the Sydney Classic earlier in January, eventually going down to Alan Karatsev 6-3 6-3. It was just the second ATP Tour-level final he has reached since the start of 2019.

Now, the three-time major winner is hoping to push on after that morale-boosting success over Basilashvili.

"Beating Basilashvili was a big win for me," Murray added. "A lot of work has gone into getting back to this tournament and to physically compete at the highest level, so beating a guy ranked in the top 25 and winning a match in five sets was very satisfying.

"I'm probably never going to move as well as I did as I did when I was 25.

"But the more matches I play, staying healthy for a long period of time and not missing lots of training, means I am going to continue to improve my movement. Then, my physicality on the court will get better."

Naomi Osaka will face Amanda Anisimova in round three of the Australian Open after easing past Madison Brengle on Wednesday.

The two-time champion in Melbourne won 6-0 6-4 to set up a meeting with the 20-year-old American, who earlier upset Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic in straight sets.

Despite a second-set wobble on serve that gave Brengle hope of a comeback, Osaka looked in comfortable control of the contest and has now dropped just one set in her five matches in 2022.

Brengle was a 6-2 6-2 winner in the only previous meeting in Rock Hill way back in 2013, when Osaka had just turned 16 and had barely any Tour experience. Against the Osaka of 2022, a four-time major champion, she had few answers.

Osaka tore through Brengle's defence in the opening set, wrapping it up in 20 minutes while dropping just three points on serve.

Brengle was credited with just one winner in her chaotic first-round match with Dayana Yastremska, who retired trailing 6-1 0-6 0-5. It was not until the second game of the second set that Brengle matched that tally, but it was worth the wait: a brutal inside-out backhand across court, celebrated with gusto, as she began to make inroads on the Osaka serve.

Osaka dug deep, saving three break points before holding for 2-1 and then another with a timely ace in her next service game. Her play was becoming erratic, though, and after saving a further three break points at 3-3, a wild overhead handed Brengle the breakthrough.

Yet if the 31-year-old thought then that the match was just getting started, it was suddenly over. Osaka broke back immediately with a backhand volley at the net and did not lose another point from there, clinching the contest when Brengle's passing shot dropped wide.

DATA SLAM: Osaka into overdrive

Brengle quadrupled her winner count from her first-round match, but the world number 54 was simply outgunned by Osaka when it came to rallies.

The Japanese star fired in 37 winners to 32 unforced errors, turning on the power just when it seemed like the contest was balancing out.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Brengle – 4/14
Osaka – 37/32

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Brengle – 0/1
Osaka – 8/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Brengle – 1/10
Osaka – 5/7

Rafael Nadal insisted he does not feel any significant pressure at the Australian Open as he goes in search of a record-breaking 21st grand slam singles title.

The Spaniard eased into the third round on Wednesday with a 6-2 6-3 6-4 over Yannick Hanfmann on Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal, who is now 16-0 in the second round of this event in his career, has enjoyed an encouraging return to action in 2022 following a foot injury.

The 35-year-old won the Melbourne Summer Set warm-up tournament, collecting his 89th title on the ATP Tour in the process, and is now 5-0 for the season.

With Novak Djokovic not involved, the prospect of Nadal winning a second Australian Open title – and a record 21st major overall – is very real.

None of Nadal's vanquished opponents this month are in the top 50 in the world, though, and he could face 28th seed Karen Khachanov in round three before a possible quarter-final against world number three Alexander Zverev.

Still, rather than worry about the matches to come, Nadal is simply enjoying being back on court and retuning his game.

"As I said here before the tournament started, things [are] not going to be perfect, but every day that I'm going to spend on court, the chances to play better are higher," he said.

"I think I am doing things well. Things that I can improve, I have to improve. I want to keep going in the tournament. But winning today allows me to practice again tomorrow, to be ready for another match. After two matches it's the moment to make a step forward. It's not going to be impossible. I'm going to try.

"I'm excited about it. I'm excited about the fact that I'm going to be playing in a third round for one more time here after all the things I am going through.

"I don't have big pressure on my shoulders, honestly. I don't feel it. The pressure is only to stay healthy and to enjoy the fact that I am competing again, then give my best as I did during all my tennis career."

Asked about the potential Zverev match-up, Nadal added: "I don't know. I am in the third round. I need to win very tough matches to be there. It is not in my mind now. I have enough work.

"I think playing against Khachanov now, probably Khachanov, [is] going to be a big challenge.

"I never think that far. You can imagine now less than ever, no? Just staying focused on my daily work, on what's coming, and that's it. One moment in time, that's it."

World number one Ash Barty is wary of Camila Giorgi's ability to "hit you off the court" ahead of their meeting at the Australian Open.

Barty crushed Lucia Bronzetti 6-1 6-1 in the second round on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.

The Australian has lost just three games in the opening two rounds at Melbourne Park, where she is bidding to win her third grand slam title.

Another Italian, 30th seed Giorgi, awaits in the third round and Barty is wary of the hard-hitting 30-year-old.

"Some very different challenges to what I've had the last couple matches. She has the ability to hold baseline, to control the centre of the court, be super, super aggressive off her serve and first shot, particularly off her return," she said.

"It's going to be a match where I'm going to have to serve well, bring in variety, make sure I can cover the court, neutralise the best that I can. She has the ability to hit you off the court without realising it's happening.

"I think it's going to be another match with some fresh challenges. But having played her before, she kind of knows my game, I kind of know hers. It's about going out there and trying to do it as good as I can."

In three previous meetings with Giorgi, Barty has never lost, although the most recent of those came at the 2018 Australian Open.

Barty has been in impressive form so far in Melbourne and was pleased with her performance against Bronzetti.

"Yeah, I felt good. I felt like I wanted to try to use my experience a little bit today, get off to a quick start. I felt like I was able to do that," she said.

"I served well. I was able to find plenty of forehands and control the match quite well, so pleased with that one."

Rafael Nadal remains on track for a record-breaking 21st grand slam title after getting past Yannick Hanfmann at the Australian Open.

Nadal, bidding to become the outright record holder for the most majors won by a man, was too good for Hanfmann in a 6-2 6-3 6-4 victory in the second round on Wednesday.

The Spanish star had won his only previous meeting with the German – at the French Open in 2019 – and proved too strong on Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal will face either Russian 28th seed Karen Khachanov or Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi in the third round.

Hanfmann held his own early, but Nadal landed the first break in the sixth game, a backhand winner down the line followed by a volley to give him a 4-2 lead.

A break point went begging for Hanfmann in the next game and Nadal punished him, a tremendous backhand winner down the line clinching the set.

Just as the sixth game looked set to be Hanfmann's undoing again, the German saved a break point and held for 3-3.

But a pair of forehand winners would give Nadal a 5-3 lead on his way to taking the second set.

The contest looked over as Nadal broke for 2-1 in the third set when Hanfmann sent a forehand long to end a 22-shot rally.

And that proved to be the case, Nadal digging out of a 0-30 hole in the eighth game – and jumping in celebration – before closing out his win with another tough hold.

 

DATA SLAM: Nadal's second-round perfection in Melbourne intact

Nadal has never lost in the Australian Open second round.

He improved that record to 16-0 with the win over Hanfmann. Only once in his career has the 2009 champion bowed out before the third round in Melbourne – losing to Fernando Verdasco in his opener in 2016.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 30/26
Hanfmann – 30/32

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 1/5
Hanfmann – 5/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 4/16
Hanfmann – 0/2

Nick Kyrgios is box office whenever he plays – and the Australian Open gets a first-week gift in the form of a second-round blockbuster against Daniil Medvedev.

Kyrgios still managed to bring John Cain Arena to life even during a relatively straightforward 6-4 6-4 6-3 win over Liam Broady on Tuesday.

The Australian, who has dropped to 115th in the rankings after not playing since last year's US Open, is arguably the must-watch player in the men's draw.

Anything can happen when Kyrgios is in action. For all the frustrations about a thus far unfulfilled talent, Kyrgios – a two-time grand slam quarter-finalist – is box office.

On Thursday he faces the highest ranked player in the men's draw, last year's US Open champion Medvedev, in what shapes as being a thrilling contest.

Kyrgios has won both of his previous meetings with the Russian second seed, who is among the favourites to win the title at Melbourne Park.

With Roger Federer absent and Novak Djokovic having been deported from Australia, tournament officials have been gifted a contest that belongs in the second week.

All eyes will be on Thursday's schedule, with Kyrgios seemingly likely to miss out on playing on his preferred court – John Cain Arena – in a match that undoubtedly belongs on Rod Laver Arena.

"I mean, obviously either way it's going to be a hell of an experience for me. He's probably the best player in the world at the moment. So I'm pretty excited, I'm excited for that moment. That's why I play the game," Kyrgios said after beating Broady.

"I feel like those matches still excite me, to go out there and play the best in the world. That was always something I wanted to prove to people that someone like me could do, win those matches. I'm not going to go into it with a lot of expectation. I'm going to go out there, have some fun, play my game. I have a pretty set-in-stone game plan of what I need to do to have success.

"As I said, he's probably the best player in the world, he does everything extremely well. He's a hard worker, ticks all the boxes. I'm not going to even think about that now. To play it on John Cain would be – I'm just going to call it the Kyrgios Court – would be fun."

Kyrgios and Medvedev played twice in 2019, the Australian winning two tie-breaks in their most recent meeting in the final in Washington in August of that year.

 

Medvedev was a top-10 player then, but it would be later in that year that the Russian would truly make an impact, edged by Rafael Nadal in the US Open final.

He went 20-3 at majors last year, winning the title at Flushing Meadows, reaching the final in Melbourne and the French Open quarter-finals.

When he met Kyrgios in Washington, Medvedev had won four ATP titles. He now has 13 to his name.

"Yeah, I just became a different player in terms of ranking and titles. It gives you experience. That's where you can try to win matches which you have lost before, opponents which you have lost before," Medvedev said following his opening-round win against Henri Laaksonen.

"I think there are still some guys on tour who I haven't beat. So can stay like this. I think our last match was so long ago and we are both so different and a different momentum of our careers that it's really tough to count it. As I say, win or lose, I don't think these two matches gonna count into this one, so yeah."

Ash Barty continued her impressive start to the Australian Open with a resounding win over Lucia Bronzetti on Wednesday.

The world number one dropped just one game in the first round and was similarly rampant in the second, crushing Bronzetti 6-1 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena.

Barty, a two-time grand slam champion, raced through in just 52 minutes to set up a meeting with another Italian, 30th seed Camila Giorgi.

The Australian remains on track for a blockbuster fourth-round meeting with Japanese star Naomi Osaka.

Barty quickly broke the Bronzetti serve, taking a 2-0 lead after a double fault and tame backhand into the net from the Italian.

Bronzetti won just one point during her opening two service games as Barty broke again for 4-0, on her way to taking the first set in just 26 minutes.

The one-sided encounter continued to begin the second set, a pair of double faults from Bronzetti helping Barty break to love in the third game.

Barty remained untroubled, cruising through in style as her run in Melbourne continued.

DATA SLAM: Brilliant Barty continues early blitz

Barty has dropped just three games through two rounds at the Australian Open.

That is the fewest number of games she has lost through the opening two rounds of a grand slam in her career, better than last year's Australian Open (seven).

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Barty – 21/14
Bronzetti – 6/14

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Barty – 8/2
Bronzetti – 1/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Barty – 5/6
Bronzetti – 0/0

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