Rafael Nadal was made to work for his first win of the year at the Australian Open by Britain’s Jack Draper.
The world no 38 managed to hang with the defending champion for 3 hours and 42 minutes before losing 7-5, 6-2, 6-4, 6-1.
Draper managed to go toe-to-toe with Nadal throughout the match but his inexperience at crucial moments cost him a major upset. The Spaniard broke his serve to take a one-set lead before Draper wrestled the momentum back in the second set to tie the match.
The duo again went at it during the third set with the Brit dropping his serve while trying to stay into the contest to fall down a 2-1 hole from which he never recovered. With Rafael Nadal finally firing on all cylinders, Jack Draper mounted a mini comeback to go up a break in the fourth set before Nadal again took control to wrap up the proceedings at Rod Laver Arena.
The defending champion will now face Mackenzie McDonald in the next round.
In other notable matches, Francis Tiafoe, Denis Shapavolov and Jannik Sinner earned wins with Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas in action today as well.
Over at the women’s side of the draw, Coco Gauff, Emma Raducanu, Jessica Pegula, Maria Sakkari, Petra Kvitová, Jeļena Ostapenko and Victoria Azarenka were among the early winners with the no 1 seed Iga Swiatek in line to take the courts as well.