Rafael Nadal needed five sets to earn his Australian Open third round berth. The third seed was pushed all the way by American Tim Smyczek at the Rod Laver Arena in a gruelling four hours and 12 minutes on Wednesday in Melbourne. The Spaniard progressed 6-2, 3-6, 6-7, 6-3, 7-5.
Nadal only hit three aces in the epic battle compared to the 15 of Smyczek. The American also hit 64 winners compared to the 2009 champion’s 43. However it was Nadal who outlasted his opponent and ultimately came out on top.
Roger Federer is through to the third round, but needed four sets against Simone Bolelli. Federer served down 15 aces and 36 winners in two hours and nine minutes on court at the Rod Laver Arena. The Italian hit 35 winners but was undone by 39 unforced errors.
Joining the second seed was seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian saw off Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 in 169 minutes. Dimitrov hit an incredible 64 winners to the 32 of his opponent.
It was a case of two wins out of two for South Africa on Day Three. First Raven Klaasen won his doubles match before Kevin Anderson raced to an emphatic straight sets second round victory. The 14th seed needed only 107 minutes to thrash Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 on Court 13.
Anderson hit 14 aces and 30 winners on his way to victory. Klaasen and his partner Leander Paes won in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 in a tough workout on Court 20 in just over an hour-and-a-half against American duo Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram. Andy Murray is also through to the singles third round after a comfortable 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Australia’s Marinko Matosevic.
Matosevic actually hit more winners (26-21) that the Briton but committed an unforgivable 49 unforced errors, compared to Murray’s 12 at the Margaret Court Arena. The match lasted 102 minutes. Earlier, Tomas Berdych dispatched of Austria’s Jurgen Melzer 7-6, 6-2, 6-2 in just over two hours on Show Court 3.
The Czech hit 36 winners and 9 aces on his way to victory. There was also good news for South Africa on the doubles court in Melbourne.