by Helen Earnshaw |
Rafael Nadal got the defence of his Australian Open title under way in the night session of day one of the tournament with a straight sets win.
The world number two won the title twelve months ago with a dramatic five sets final over Roger Federer and is looking to recapture that form after a troubled second half of 2009.
The Spaniard has been plagued with injury and confidence issues but 2010 looks to have got off in the right way with a win in Abu Dabi and a making the final in Qatar.
However in his opening match in Melbourne he didn't get everything his own way in the opening set as his Australian opponent Peter Luczak played the set of his life.
And there was no poor play for Nadal who looked in fine form he just couldn't find away passed the Aussie.
It was Luczak that struck first, much to the delight of the crowd, to break Nadal and open up a 5-3 lead. But the former world number one broke straight back and the set eventually went to a tie break.
Luczak looked deflated in the tie break having played the best set of his career and still not clinched it and it showed as Nadal motored threw the tie break 7-0 to clinch the opening set.
From that point it was all one way traffic as Nadal completely dominated Luczak and his serve to take it 6-1.
Spurred on by the crowd Luczak made more of a fight in the third set but he was unable to keep up with the play of the former world number one as he wrapped up victory 7-6 (7-0) 6-1 6-4 in just over two and a half hours.
There was no trouble for Andy Roddick either who is playing just his second tournament since withdrawing from the ATP World Tour Final in November with an injury.
And it was an impressive display from the American as he dispatched Thiemo de Bakker in straight sets 6-1 6-4 6-4.
However it wasn't as straight forward for U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro as he had to go to four sets to clinch the win against Michael Russell 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-2.
Del Potro withdrew from the Kooyong Classic tournament last week with a wrist injury and while he admitted to feeling some discomfort it didn't hamper his play.
The first of the seeds to fall in the men's side of the draw came in the form of Radel Stepanek as he was beaten in a five set thriller against Ivo Karlovic.
World number one Roger Federer gets his campaign underway tomorrow as he faces Igor Andreev.
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw