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Australian Open: Rafael Nadal thrashes US qualifier

Australian Open, Melbourne
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 17-30 January
Coverage: Watch on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only) & Eurosport; listen on BBC 5 live sports extra and online; text commentary online; full details

Rafael Nadal in action
Nadal is searching for his 10th career Grand Slam title in Melbourne

Top seed Rafael Nadal was at his scintillating best as he swept aside qualifier Ryan Sweeting 6-2 6-1 6-1 in his Australian Open second-round match.

Spaniard Nadal, winner in Melbourne in 2009, took only 28 minutes to wrap up the first set before dropping one game in the 38-minute second set.

American Sweeting improved in the third set but was still overwhelmed by the imperious world number one.

Fourth seed Robin Soderling beat Gilles Muller 6-3 7-6 (7-1) 6-1.

But Michael Llodra, the 22nd seed, lost to Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

Highly rated Canadian Raonic, a qualifier ranked 152 in the world, further boosted his rising profile with his first big-name scalp at a Grand Slam.

And the 20-year-old believes he has the ability to produce further shocks in the tournament.

"I hope to do more than this. I feel like I can," he said. "I feel like I'm playing at a level that I'm still there and I'm there with the top guys.

"I look forward to the next match and I look forward to imposing my game."

It's a dream come true. I've got nothing to lose

Bernard Tomic on playing Rafael Nadal

Raonic will face 10th seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, who beat Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia in five sets.

Tenth seed Youzhny had to overcome a spirited fightback from Kavcic to win 6-3 6-1 5-7 4-6 6-1 on Court Six.

Nadal is aiming to become the first man since Australian Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time.

And he made light work of his 23-year-old opponent, needing only one hour and 40 minutes to wrap up a comprehensive victory on Rod Laver Arena.

"I think I played a solid match," said Nadal. "A few mistakes with the backhand, that's all. The serve improved a lot since the first day. I think I was serving very well today."

Nadal's next opponent will be promising Australian Bernard Tomic, who shocked Spain's 31st seed Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Bernard Tomic celebrates winning a poing
Nadal faces Australian teenager Bernard Tomic in the next round

The Spaniard will have to contend with a vociferous home crowd when he steps on court alongside German-born Tomic, one of the brightest prospects in men's tennis.

"He has very good potential to be in the top positions in the future. He's playing well," added the nine-time Grand Slam champion.

Wildcard entrant Tomic, who is ranked 199 in the world, said he is placing no pressure on his shoulders when he takes on the five-time French Open champion.

"I can't believe that I'm playing him," said the Queenslander. "What an opportunity it is to play him, in a third round as well. It's a dream come true. I've got nothing to lose."

Despite reaching the quarter-finals of the other three Grand Slams, Soderling had never passed the second round in his five previous appearances at Melbourne Park.

"I really feel that I can play well on every surface," said Soderling, who will play Jan Hernych next.

"The conditions and the surface in Melbourne should suit my game. I feel like I'm playing really well and I have a lot of experience from doing well in other Grand Slams so hopefully this year it will change."

Hernych of the Czech Republic beat 30th seed Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-2 6-7 (11-13) 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 8-6.

Seventh seed David Ferrer advanced to the next stage courtesy of a comprehensive 6-0 6-1 7-5 victory over American Michael Russell.

The Spaniard now faces Lithuania's Richard Berankis, whose opponent David Nalbandian, who beat home favourite Lleyton Hewitt in a marathon first-round match, was forced to retire ill when trailing 6-1 6-0 2-0.

Marcos Baghdatis

Baghdatis seals win over Del Potro

Austrian 11th seed Jurgen Melzer beat Pere Riba of Spain 6-2 6-4 6-2 to set up a third-round match with 21st seed Marcos Baghdatis, who saw off former world number four Juan Martin del Potro 6-1 6-3 4-6 6-3.

And last year's semi-finalist Marin Cilic also sailed through to the next round, easing past Colombia's Santiago Giraldo with a 6-3 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 victory.

Cilic will next play American John Isner, the 20th seed, who defeated Czech Radek Stepanek 4-6 6-4 6-2 6-1.

Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, the 32nd seed, beat Argentina's Eduardo Schwank 6-4 7-6 (10-8) 6-1 to seal an encounter with Britain's Andy Murray.

Elsewhere, Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov saw off Germany's Benjamin Becker 6-3 6-0 3-6 7-6 (7-3).

In the men's doubles tournament, Briton Jamie Murray and Belgian Xavier Malisse made an impressive start to their newly formed partnership when they knocked out ninth seeds Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman in a surprise 6-4 6-0 first-round victory.

But all-British duo Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins were beaten 6-4 2-6 6-2 by Israel's 14th seeds Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram.



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see also
Australian Open photos
20 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Federer through after Simon scare
19 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Nadal through as Daniel retires
18 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Murray opens with Melbourne win
18 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Federer breezes into second round
17 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Nadal & Federer eye Aussie battle
16 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Men's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis


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