Rafael Nadal eased into the Australian Open third round on Wednesday, dispatching Tommy Haas. Nadal had a scare Sunday when his right knee flared up almost causing him to withdraw from the tournament. But since he has been sharp winning all six sets.
Nadal, who won the Australian Open in 2009, will meet Lukas Lacko on Friday in the third round.
Q. Was that the perfect kind of match for you? Because you played well, but you got tested by a good player and you get through in straight sets.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know if it’s the perfect match, but I won in three sets. I started match playing fantastic, especially the first seven games.
So everybody arrives late because they thought that I am late, no? (Laughter.)
THE MODERATOR: I’m so sorry.
RAFAEL NADAL: I usually am very late, so they know that.
Q. Were you worried when Tommy had the…
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure, when he had the break point at 54 with the first set? Yes. No, I had a mistake with the 52, big mistake with one forehand in one deuce.
I was a little bit unlucky at that game with the 54. I had 30love. After I had breakpoint again, but I was lucky that I had two aces in a row. And a third one in the set point, Tommy had the fantastic serve, too, and forehand winner.
So I end the set well. I started the second set very well another time. Second set was, I can say, comfortable for me, because I had the break at the beginning. I didn’t suffer a lot with my serve, and I had the second break with the 53.
So it’s important, the break, I had a very bad game in the beginning of the third. After that, you know, the set is in trouble. If you don’t have the break back next game, you will be fighting all the set to try to come back, no? Finally I did.
I think he played well. He played aggressive. He played with very good second serves. For a moments his first serve was really difficult to read.
Yeah, I think he played well. My way has to be the seven first games of the match.
Q. How do you feel your game is at the moment?
RAFAEL NADAL: I really practiced well. I had very good preparation in my opinion. I practiced very well. I won already two matches in straight sets with positive feeling. I am well.
You never know. (Smiling.) We are in the first week, and, you know, every match will be difficult. Next one will be not be an exception.
Q. How is the knee today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Very good.
Q. Federer has the next day off. Would you like to have the same? He doesn’t play because his adversary is out.
RAFAEL NADAL: Walkover.
Q. Would you like to have the same?
RAFAEL NADAL: Before the day start, yes. Now I played and I win, no, I’m happy. (Laughter.)
Q. Is it good to have a tough match like that early on?
RAFAEL NADAL: For me?
RAFAEL NADAL: Good like…
Q. Like today.
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, but I’m not agree. Tough match is when you play five sets. When you play three sets every match is tough. I cannot say I won easy; for sure not.
You cannot expect win easy against nobody, and especially against Tommy Haas. He’s fantastic player. That to say, happy to have this strong match early on; I not agree on that.
Was a positive match, but not that very strong, demanding. We didn’t play four hours and a half, five hours. Three sets, so wasn’t that tough, thinking that all the matches is tough.
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