Nadal delighted with straight sets win

Reigning champion Rafael Nadal overcame a slow start to get the defence of his Australian Open crown off to a winning start against Peter Luczak in Melbourne on Monday.

The second seed looked tentative early but slowly wore down the 30-year-old Australian 7-6 (7/0) 6-1 6-4.



Cheered on by his home crowd Luczak served for the opening set at 5-3, but Nadal broke to set up a tie-break he did not lose a point in.



That sucked the life out of the Australian's challenge as Nadal then found his groove from the baseline.



The Spaniard made 10 unforced errors in the first set but thereafter he made just six more to progress in two hours and 34 minutes.



"You know always that you will be more nervous in the first round. First rounds are always difficult to play very well," Nadal said.



"So I thought it was going to be a tough match. The first set was tough. Later it was easier.



"Winning in three sets is good news. I am happy to be in the second round."



It was a good day for the top players as fifth seed Andy Murray and American Andy Roddick both won in straight sets, while reigning US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro needed four to overcome Michael Russell 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-2.



The 21-year-old Argentinian revealed afterwards he was hampered by the wrist injury that forced him to pull out of the Kooyong Classic last week.



"I don't feel 100%, but I am feel better than yesterday and I hope be better for Wednesday in my next match," he said.



Asked if he felt pain while he was playing, he replied: "A little bit. After two hours the pain came and I feel a little bit, but I can play. I want to be here, I want to win matches."



Murray faced a giant challenge in the form of 6ft 8in qualifier Kevin Anderson, but had little trouble in winning 6-1 6-1 6-2.



The 22-year-old broke six of Anderson's first eight service games after the South African had not been broken in qualifying.



"It is a good start. He's a tough player. He's beaten (Novak) Djokovic before in Miami and he's won a tour event," Murray said.



"He's 6ft 8in so I wasn't expecting it to be easy.



"I just got off to a good start which helped. I broke him straight away which always makes a big difference."



Roddick was similarly happy with his 6-1 6-4 6-4 win over Thiemo de Bekker with his only major stumbling block involving a clash with a line judge.



"I ran into one of those immovable objects called a referee (line judge)," he said.



"He wasn't giving up any ground. I didn't see him. He wasn't really trying to do much to get out of the way."



The biggest casualty of the day was 13th seed Radek Stepanek, who lost a five-set battle with big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic 2-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 3-6 6-4.



Stepanek's defeat opened the draw for Karlovic's fellow Croatian Ivan Ljubicic who easily accounted for Australian Jason Kuble 6-1 6-2 6-2.



News
Dustin Diamond, with his fiancee Amanda Schutz and her attorney walk out of the coutroom after a split verdict in an Ozaukee County Courthouse May 29, 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
The last time Adam lusher was on
stage, he played a Christmas tree (the
critics called him wooden)
arts + entsCould I find my 'inner p***k'?
Sport
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood
footballDanny Higginbotham: Tim Sherwood must play game of two halves to cause major upset
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor