Nadal defeats Draper, reaches round two at the Australian Open

Defending champion Rafael Nadal admitted he wasn’t perfect after crushing a man 15 years his junior to begin his quest for a 23rd Grand Slam title on Monday.

The Spaniard’s top seed unleashed some of his trademark hammer forehands, but he also committed 46 unforced errors in defeating Briton Jack Draper 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 at the Australian Open.

It advanced him to the second round for the 17th time, extending his win-loss record at Melbourne Park to 77-15.

He will face Mackenzie McDonald next, who defeated fellow American Brandon Nakashima in a five-set thriller.

He said: “Super-happy to be back here in Australia one more time. It’s like the 19th season in the professional tour; so very excited about this new beginning,” Nadal said after the 3 hrs 41 mins test in blistering heat on Rod Laver Arena.

“I needed a victory, so that’s the main thing. Doesn’t matter the way. The most important thing today is a victory against a tough opponent.

“We knew it was not going to be perfect… it was not perfect.

“(But) I think I did things well. So satisfied with the victory because that gives me the chance to play again.”


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