Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Rafael Nadal speed up into 3rd round

DEFENDING champion Rafael Nadal secured his second straight-sets win to progress to the third round of the Australian Open.
The Spanish second seed needed one hour and 53 minutes to brush aside Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

It was a convincing display from Nadal, who showed no signs of the early nerves from his first-round match against Peter Luczak.

"I think I played the match that I needed to play," said Nadal. "I played more relaxed. The second round always is easier to play. I think I improved a little bit, but I can still play a little bit longer."

Nadal will meet a seed for the first time in the next round after Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber (27) defeated Wayne Odesnik 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Seventh seed Andy Roddick cruised past Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and next in his way is Feliciano Lopez after the Spaniard beat 2003 finalist Rainer Schuettler 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Roddick continued his clashes with officialdom when he questioned an umpiring decision on match point. The seventh seed had clashed with a line umpire in his first round match. Yesterday, Roddick held match point at 40-15 when a ball from Bellucci was adjudged to be in after review by the Hawk-Eye replay system.

The big-serving American then produced what he thought was an ace to seal the victory, only for Bellucci to challenge the call. Hawk-Eye determined the ball to be 'out', forcing Roddick to make a second serve. However, Bellucci belted a forehand long in the subsequent rally to finally hand Roddick the 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win.

The victor then argued with chair umpire Fergus Murphy afterwards. "There was just a disagreement about a rule I guess on a continuation of a call," Roddick explained.

"To be fair, I didn't come in here until I watched the video of it. I was more wrong than I thought I was out on court. That being said, it was very close."

In the last match of the day, 14th seed Marin Cilic was taken the distance by Australian teenager Bernard Tomic 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, with play not finishing until after 2am local time.

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