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Nadal not getting carried away after opening win


Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal refused to get carried away by his first round win in the Australian Open on Monday, despite admitting he found beating Mikhail Youzhny easier than expected.

Nadal won his ninth French Open title last year, but lost in the fourth round of Wimbledon and then spent almost three months on the sidelines with a wrist injury that forced him to miss the US Open.

After returning to action the 28-year-old was diagnosed with appendicitis and underwent an operation at the start of November, leaving him pessimistic about his chances of winning a second title in Melbourne.

Those chances looked to have improved greatly after he dispatched the dangerous Youzhny 6-3 6-2 6-2, but Nadal said: "What I say the other day is the real thing. Today is very hard to speak about having chances. I have won one match.

"That's better than two days ago but I need more to feel that I am ready for something very important here so it is not the right moment to talk about that. It's the moment to really give to this victory the right value."

Asked if the match had proved easier than expected, Nadal added: "Sure, this is true. It's a very positive result for me. It was a comfortable victory that give me some confidence."

Nadal was joined in the second round by second seed Roger Federer, who also did not drop a set in beating Yen-Hsun Lu in the first match of the evening session on Rod Laver Arena.

Seeking his 18th grand slam title and first in Melbourne since 2010, Federer was in complete command against the world number 47, winning 6-4 6-2 7-5 in one hour and 53 minutes.

The 33-year-old, who fired nine aces and won 86 per cent of points on his first serve, said: "I thought it was a really good level. Lu played a tough match and I really had to step it up. I've played him before so knew what he was capable of.

"The season is still early and it's tough to get rhythm, especially in the first round but it was a nice match."