Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Federer and Nadal cruise through

Updated January 16, 2012 22:43:43

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer enjoyed easy wins on Monday night to progress to the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The two giants of men's tennis with 26 grand slams between them cruised through in straight-sets victories.

Nadal brushed aside America's Alex Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-1, 6-1, despite revealing later that he feared his bid for another Australian title was over before it started after suffering searing knee pain ahead of his first match.

The Spanish world number two was only able to take to the court for his early evening match after intensive treatment including physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory drugs.

"I was sitting on a chair in the hotel and I felt like a crack on the knee," Nadal said.

"I moved the leg two times ... after the second time, the knee stays with an unbelievable pain completely straight.

"I really couldn't move the knee ... I have no movement on the knee."

His trainers took him for an ultrasound and then to hospital for an MRI scan, but analysis proved inconclusive.

Treatment after the scans helped relieve the pain and restored movement in the knee.

"During the evening I wasn't 100 per cent sure I would play," he said.

"It is something that I really don't understand, but I am really happy that today I was ready to play and I played a fantastic match."

Federer spent just one hour and 38 minutes on Rod Laver Arena in administering a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over the 172-ranked Alexander Kudryavtsev.

The Swiss champion said after his match he was happy to feel no discomfort after pulling out of the ATP event in Doha.

"No problem. I'm happy to be 100 per cent fit," he said.

"I've felt that way for three or four days now and it's a good thing.

"I was a bit worried, but I'm here and I'm happy to play."

Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro needed four sets and three hours to reach the second round in overcoming French world number 91 Adrian Mannarino 2-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-4.

The Argentine giant will now face Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic in the second round after Kavcic's straight-sets win over Britain's James Ward.

Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych accounted for Spaniard Albert Ramos in four sets, Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka eased past Frenchman Benoit Paire in straight sets and American eighth seed Mardy Fish downed Luxembourg's Gilles Muller for the loss of 10 games.

Spanish 10th seed Nicolas Almagro knocked out Poland's Lukasz Kubot, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-5 and Germany's Tommy Haas ousted American qualifier Denis Kudla in four sets.

David Nalbandian went through when Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, who won the Sydney International after coming through qualifying, retired in the second set with strained stomach muscles.


Tags: australian-open, tennis, sport, melbourne-3000, vic, australia

First posted January 16, 2012 15:40:30

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