Australian Open: Rafael Nadal bids to follow fast start vs Federico Delbonis

Rafael Nadal won in Australian Open round 1 (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal won in Australian Open round 1 (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) /

Round 1 at the Australian Open did not produce many big shocks in the men’s or women’s singles, as Rafael Nadal booked a clash with Federico Delbonis.

Rafael Nadal cruised past Hugo Dellien in his first-round match at the Australian Open, earning a contest with Federico Delbonis with a victory that was similar to many others achieved by top seeds over the first two days of the tournament.

A 6-2 6-3 6-0 win for world number one Nadal arrived in two hours and two minutes, with the Spaniard acknowledging he had started cautiously to find his rhythm before stepping his game up in the third set once he knew the match was in his control.

The Spaniard now faces Argentine Delbonis in round two on Thursday, with his match coming after the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have played their next contests on Wednesday.

Journeyman Delbonis is 29 and has two ATP Tour titles in his career, with a current ATP world ranking of 76.

Aus Open. Serena makes strong start. light

He has been as high as 33 in the rankings back in 2016 and booked his place in round two with a 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-3) win over Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

Delbonis has never made a huge impact at a Grand Slam, his best performance coming at the Australian Open in 2016, when he reached the third round before suffering a straight sets defeat to Gilles Simon.

He and Nadal have played three times previously, most recently at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Aus Open. Top 5 favorites and prediction. light

Nadal won that match 6-2 6-1 on a hard court in Rio, having also taken the spoils in the other two contests on clay in similarly convincing fashion.

He will expect to achieve another emphatic result this time that moves him into round three, where fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta or qualifier Peter Gojowczyk will be waiting.

Top names progress in Australian Open round 1

While there were a few surprises, the biggest names in the men’s and women’s singles have all made it through the opening round.

As well as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer enjoyed a comfortable opener against Steve Johnson, while Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev needed four sets to win their encounters against Jan-Lennard Struff and Frances Tiafoe respectively.

All of the top 12 seeds are through and only two of the top 24 have been eliminated, with Canadian duo Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime both crashing out.

On the women’s side, the top 11 seeds all progressed, with Serena Williams recording a comfortable opening win, while Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep also moved through in straight sets.

Ash Barty is Australia’s home hope in the tournament and she survived a scare to come from a set down to beat Lesia Tsurenko.

Next. Preview for Serena's match in round 2. dark

The biggest women’s players to have been eliminated are rising stars Marketa Vondrousova and Amanda Anisimova, former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Great Britain’s Johanna Konta.