Australian Open: 2018 Top seed Rafael Nadal beats Leonardo Mayer

Top seed Rafael Nadal progressed to the last 32 of the Australian Open with a straight-set victory over Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer in Melbourne.

The Spaniard, 31, beat world number 52 Mayer 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in two hours 38 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Mayer responded to a Nadal break in the final set with one of his own, before the 2009 champion took the tie-break.

“I’m happy to be in the third round and a second victory in a row is very important news for me,” said Nadal.

“Leonardo is a player with big potential, he hits the ball so strong. He is a very dangerous opponent.

“This tournament is my favourite of the year, so I want to stay here as long as possible.”

Nadal will face Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Damir Dzumhur in the next round after the world number 30 beat John Millman 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-1.

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