Melbourne, Australia (4E Sports) – World No. 1 Rafael Nadal defeated 17-year-old home favorite Thanasi Kokkinakis, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, Thursday to book a spot in third round of the Australian Open.
“He will have the chance to be a great player,” said Nadal, after hitting 39 winners and breaking serve five times. “That’s my feeling. He has everything to do it. He played two junior finals at Grand Slams last year, so he has a great future.”
Kokkinakis, ranked No. 570 in the world, recorded his first Grand Slam victory when he beat Igor Sijsling in the first round and showed glimpses of his potential on Rod Laver Arena against 2009 Melbourne champion Nadal.
The 27-year-old Nadal, who is chasing his 14th Grand Slam title in Melbourne, will face Gael Monfils again in the third round, after the Frenchman defeated Jack Sock 7-6(2), 7-5, 6-2 in just over two hours.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray reeled off 23 straight points to win his second-round contest with Vincent Millot, 6-2, 6-2, 7-5. Murray Scot trailed 1-5 in the third set, but did not lose another point as he claimed victory in just over two hours.
In the third round, the 26-year-old Murray will take on Feliciano Lopez, who hit 43 winners in a 6-4, 7-6(6), 6-4 win over Michael Berrer.
Two of the ATP Tour’s young guns will face off in the third round after Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov both recorded straight-sets wins. Raonic defeated Victor Hanescu, 7-6(9), 6-4, 6-4, while Dimitrov beat Yen-Hsun Lu, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(11).
No. 18 seed Gilles Simon came through another five-set tussle to reach the third round, beating Marin Cilic, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-7(7), 6-1, 6-2, to advance against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut upset fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in the second round of the 2014 Australian Open. He next faces 27th seed Benoit Paire in the third round.
On the women’s front, second seed Victoria Azarenka beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 6-1, 6-4, to advance to the third round of the event.
The 24-year-old Azarenka, who is eyeing to become the first women’s player to win three Australian Opens in a row since Martina Hingis did it in 1997-99, will next face Yvonne Meusberger, a 3-6, 6-3,6-2 winner over No. 33 Bojana Jovanovski.
Also advancing were No.8 Jelena Jankovic, who rolled past Ayumi Morita, 6-2, 6-0, and No.13 Sloane Stephens, who won a see-saw with Ajla Tomljanovic, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Other winners were No. 3 Maria Sharapova, No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 11 Simona Halep, and No. 16 Carla Suárez Navarro.