Rafael Nadal back in form at Australian Open

Rafael Nadal back in form at Australian Open

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his first round match against Serbia’s Laslo Djere REUTERS/Loren Elliott
MELBOURNE—Rafael Nadal defied his gloomy injury prognosis to crush Laslo Djere 6-3 6-4 6-1 and reach the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
The Spanish great was not quite at his all-action, fist-pumping best but appeared unimpeded by his back problems as he posted an encouraging win over the 56th ranked Serb in the afternoon sunshine at Rod Laver Arena.

The quest for his 21st major begins now against Laslo Djere 🔥 @RafaelNadal | #AusOpen | #AO2021 pic.twitter.com/V3cwsvCB7Q
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 9, 2021

After closing out a tight second set, the second seed played like a man unburdened, racing to the finish line in a hail of winners before Djere conceded the match meekly with a double fault.
Nadal will meet the winner of two qualifiers — American Michael Mmoh or Viktor Troicki — for a place in the third round.

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