Wimbledon: Nadal sails past Millman

French Open champion Rafael Nadal began his Wimbledon campaign with a comfortable win over Australia's John Millman.

Rafael Nadal was at his clinical best in the first round against John Millman.   -  Getty Images

Rafael Nadal flattened John Millman 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 on a dominant first outing at Wimbledon for two years.

Nadal has not reached the second week at SW19 since 2011 and was absent last year due to a wrist injury, but the Spaniard has not arrived in London in such peak form for many years.

He enjoyed a supreme clay-court season – winning his 10th titles in Barcelona and Roland Garros – and looked equally at ease on his first outing on grass this year.

A string of lesser lights on the ATP Tour have stunned Nadal at Wimbledon in recent years, but Millman – bringing with him a 5-10 record at majors - never looked like adding his name to a list including Lukas Rosol, Steve Darcis and Dustin Brown.

In his 50th match at this famous venue, Nadal was at his clinical best and will face Donald Young in the second round – the beneficiary of Denis Istomin's withdrawal.

Millman's early nerves jarred badly against Nadal's cool as the Australian racked up errors from the off to hand Nadal an immediate break thanks to three netted forehands.

Nadal was there to pounce on any Millman errors, and the world No. 137's struggles to get his first serves in also played against him as the first set rarely made the fourth seed break sweat.

The Australian summed things up himself when he was heard claiming a crunched Nadal winner was "too good" early in the second set. And a scorching forehand, after Millman had picked a smart angle, soon after from the two-time champion brought a slumbersome crowd to its feet and secured a first break of the set.

Millman broke back in the following game, but accosted himself after handing the initiative straight back amid a flurry of off-target efforts.

Again Nadal hunkered down and picked up the easy points en route to another set and the third saw the Spaniard bring out a few party pieces.

There was a stunning clipped forehand after Millman reached for the sky to deliver a good smash, a drop shot with enough spin on it to make Shane Warne proud and finally a brutal first-serve return up the line as the Spaniard delivered an ominous warning to his title rivals.


Nadal [4] bt Millman 6-1 6-3 6-2

Nadal – 33/18
Millman – 11/17

Nadal – 5/0
Millman – 5/2

Nadal – 8/13
Millman – 2/4

Nadal – 67
Millman – 57

Nadal – 77/52
Millman – 49/41

Nadal – 91
Millman – 58

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