Nadal sweeps Baghdatis aside in straight sets

Updated: 

Rafael Nadal eased into the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-3 6-1 6-3 victory over Marcos Baghdatis on Thursday.

Having seen Novak Djokovic - a potential semi-final opponent - knocked out by Denis Istomin earlier in the day, Nadal will have been keen to avoid suffering the same fate against the world number 36 on Rod Laver Arena.

And despite displaying weaknesses in his service game early on - Nadal faced five break points in the opening set, surviving four of them - he rarely looked in danger as Baghdatis failed to take his chances.

The two sets that followed were straightforward for Nadal, who is yet to drop a set in this year's competition and will now meet Alexander Zverev for a place in the fourth round.

Baghdatis' first real contribution to the match saw him snap the logo of tournament sponsor Kia by powering a forehand into the net.

Nadal was soon in the driving seat but proved to be an unsteady hand at the wheel despite dominating the scoreboard.

Even though he won four games in a row to open up a 5-1 lead, the Spaniard looked consistently vulnerable on his own serve.

And after surviving three break points across games three and five, Baghdatis finally made one stick when he pulled back to 5-2.

Nadal managed to see out the set without any real damage being done by his slow start and he got the second off to a flyer, with Baghdatis hitting long to lose the opening game on his own serve.

Nadal stormed into a 4-0 lead and Baghdatis grew frustrated, appearing to complain to the umpire about the size of the balls compared to the ones he had practiced with outside, with the difference in temperature offered as a potential explanation.

The 2006 finalist's challenged waned as he became more irritated and, after losing the second set on a third dropped serve, Nadal's break to go 4-2 in front in the third proved decisive.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Nadal [9] bt Baghdatis 6-3 6-1 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal - 32/33
Baghdatis - 20/42

ACES
Nadal - 5
Baghdatis - 7

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal - 6/16
Baghdatis - 1/5

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Nadal - 80
Baghdatis - 54

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Nadal - 72/63
Baghdatis - 62/36

TOTAL POINTS
Nadal - 105
Baghdatis - 73