1/17/2018 12:26:56 AM

Nadal resumes charge to Grand Slam 17

Nadal resumes charge to Grand Slam 17

Melbourne: Rafael Nadal resumes his march towards a 17th Grand Slam title Wednesday after dispelling any lingering injury concerns in his first Australian Open match, with the Spanish star buoyed by feeling fit again. 

The world number one faces Argentina's Leonardo Mayer in an afternoon match on Rod Laver Arena on what is forecast to be a hot Melbourne day.

Mayer has never gone beyond the second round at seven previous attempts at Melbourne Park, and there appears to be little hope that he will trouble last year's finalist.

"I'm through to the second round and that's a positive thing for me," Nadal said after losing only three games in his first-round romp.

He said his body was feeling "good" and he had "no problems" with his troublesome knee.

"The most important thing is just enjoy and keep having the passion and the motivation to keep working hard, to be where I am today," he said.

Surprisingly, he is not the prime time men's night match on centre court, with that honour going to third seed Grigor Dimitrov, who takes on American Mackenzie McDonald.

The stylish Bulgarian admits he dreams about winning a Grand Slam, but so far has never got beyond a semi-final.

"I'm going to deal with it. That's all I'm really focusing on," he said about his drive to break his Grand Slam duck.

World number two Caroline Wozniacki also plays on Rod Laver Arena, with her side of the draw wide open after the early exits of Venus Williams, US Open champion Sloane Stephens and 10th seed CoCo Vandeweghe.

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