Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer progress at Australian Open

 

It may not have been as straightforward as Roger Federer's passage into the third round but Rafael Nadal was pleased to have avoided any major drama in progressing at the Australian Open today.

Federer received a walkover when German opponent Andreas Beck was forced out of their second-round clash due to a lower back problem.

The news broke at the same time Nadal was slugging it out on Rod Laver Arena against German veteran Tommy Haas.

But the Spanish second seed, who won 6-4 6-3 6-4, revealed afterwards he was quite happy to have played, and performed well, against a tricky opponent.

Asked if he too would have preferred a bye, he said: "Before the day started yes but now I played and won I am happy."

 



Nadal had a couple of nervy moments, most notably in the first set when having already relinquished one of the two breaks he claimed to establish a 4-0 lead, he had to face another break point at 5-4.

He escaped, though, thanks to some big serving and cruised through the second.

Haas threatened again by moving 3-1 ahead in the third but Nadal simply upped his game to hit straight back and then broke again to move through to the last 32.

Reflecting on a good work out, he added: "I don't know if it was the perfect match but I won in three sets.

"It was positive but not that demanding (physically). We didn't play for four or five hours."

As for the knee he injured when sitting on a chair on Sunday, Nadal insisted the heavy strapping was merely precautionary.

"It is much better and I am so happy the knee is improving and I am able to play without pain," he said.

Federer was also an injury concern coming into the event after hurting his back during the Qatar Open but it was not tested further today.

The Swiss, seeded number three in Melbourne, revealed he was unaware of Beck's injury until after practice this morning.

"I didn't know anything about it until I saw him in the locker room and he came up to me. I was like 'hey, what's going on? Good to see you again', because he's a good friend. I've practised with him in the past in Switzerland.

"He said 'I'm not so good actually, I have a bad back'. It came as a surprise.

"He said he had a lot of painkillers during the last match. I think it happened four, five days ago. He doesn't want to risk it early in the season. I guess it's the smart decision for him to take."

The 16-time grand slam winner was adamant having an extra day off would not disrupt his momentum.

"I'll just take it easy this afternoon and come out tomorrow and hit intensely and then I'll be ready for the next match," he said.

There will not be a next match for Mardy Fish, who became the highest seed to exit the tournament when he lost to Alejandro Falla.

World number eight Fish turned in a mistake-laden performance, making 58 unforced errors, to hand the Colombian a 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 7-6 (8/6) victory in exactly three hours.

"I didn't play great and he played well," said Fish, who was irritated at Falla's repeated call for the trainer at the changeovers.

"For someone who is in the latter stages of his career and prides himself on his fitness, I don't enjoy that at all," he added.

"I have a hard time calling the trainer for anything. First of all, I wouldn't want the other guy to know that I was hurting in the first place. But to be able to get help for lack of fitness..."

Elsewhere, seventh seed Tomas Berdych eased past diminutive Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-1 6-0 7-6 (7/4), 11th seed Juan Martin Del Potro beat Blaz Kavcic 6-4 7-5 6-3 and left-handed Spaniard Feliciano Lopez overcame Flavio Cipolla 7-5 7-6 (7/4) 6-2.

John Isner progressed after a controversial end to his match against David Nalbandian.

After an epic struggle reached 8-8 in the deciding set and with Nalbandian on break point, chair umpire Kader Nouni overruled a linesperson who had called out an Isner ace.

Television replays not only showed Nouni had made a mistake - the ball was indeed wide - he then compounded the error by refusing Nalbandian the right to challenge via Hawk-Eye due to the time taken by the Argentinian to make the decision.

Isner duly held and then broke a clearly livid Nalbandian in the next game to complete a 4-6 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7/5) 10-8 victory.

"I didn't know what was going on as I was towelling off," Isner told ESPN immediately afterwards. "I guess I was just a little luckier out there."

PA

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence