Australian Open: Nadal outclasses Dellien in first round

World number one Rafael Nadal eased to a comfortable 6-2, 6-3, 6-0 win over Hugo Dellien in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Spaniard Rafael Nadal's bid to join Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slam titles started with a comfortable victory over Hugo Dellien in the Australian Open on Tuesday.   -  Getty Images

Rafael Nadal outclassed Hugo Dellien in a straight-sets win in the Australian Open first round on Tuesday. The world number one proved too good for Dellien on a sunny Rod Laver Arena, winning 6-2, 6-3, 6-0 in two hours, two minutes.

Nadal's bid to join Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slam titles started with a comfortable victory, although he was forced to grind early.

In the end, the Spaniard's relentless consistency was too much for Bolivian world number 73 Dellien, with either Federico Delbonis or Joao Sousa awaiting Nadal in the second round.

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Dellien tried to match it with Nadal from the baseline during a lengthy first set, but he made too many mistakes – 20 unforced errors – to seriously threaten. A forehand winner gave Nadal a break and 2-0 lead and he took the opening five games before Dellien got on the board, but the Spaniard closed out a 52-minute first set.

Dellien stayed with Nadal until the sixth game of the second set, but the pair traded breaks before the latter struck again to take complete control of the encounter. Nadal broke Dellien's resistance – and serve – to begin the third set on his way to a commanding victory.

- Nadal unconcerned about reaching 20 Slam titles -

After winning two Grand Slams last year, Nadal is just one away from joining Federer on a men's record 20 major titles. But the Spaniard is refusing to think about potentially reaching the tally ahead of a second-round match with Federico Delbonis or Joao Sousa.

"No. I think about Sousa or Delbonis. That's all. I think about my practice of tomorrow, try to follow up the level of tennis that I played in the third set. That should be my main goal today," Nadal told a news conference.

"I need to play at my highest level if I want to keep going in the tournament. If I am able to reach my highest level, that's the thing that I have to worry about. If I am able to play at my highest level, normally I am able to produce some good chances. If not, impossible.

"I don't care about 20 or 15 or 16. I just care about try to keep going, keep enjoying my tennis career. It's not like 20 is the number that I need to reach. If I reach 20, fantastic. If I reach 21, better. If I reach 19, super happy about all the things that I did in my tennis career.

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"I am very satisfied about my tennis career because I give it all most of the time. That's the only thing that matters because, honestly, it's something I don't really think about.

"I don't think in the future achieving 21 grand slams, for example, I'm going to be happier than if I am 19 in 10 years. I won the US Open a few months ago, and I was super happy in that moment. But today I'm happier than if I didn't win the US Open? Probably not. That's the only thing that matters in this life.

"Of course, I want to do it the best way possible because that's what I am doing since the beginning of my life almost. But the only thing I can do is put all my efforts in trying to keep going the best way possible. The rest of the things, the future will see."

Rafael Nadal [1] bt Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0

Nadal – 38/21
Dellien – 15/34

Nadal – 5/5
Dellien – 0/2

Nadal – 8/18
Dellien – 2/5

Nadal – 62
Dellien – 72

Nadal – 70/59
Dellien – 50/32

Nadal – 96
Dellien – 64

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