'Insane': Tennis world loses it over 'ridiculous' Rafa Nadal act

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Seen right, Rafa Nadal seals an incredible winner in his Australian Open first round win.
Rafa Nadal's winner in the fourth game of the opening set was on another level. Pic: Getty/Ch9

Rafael Nadal has kicked off his Australian Open campaign in style after steamrolling his way through to the second round in straight sets.

Pounding winners from all angles of the court, Nadal looked lethal in a 6-1 6-4 6-2 demolition of American Marcos Giron on Monday.

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Nadal wasted little time getting into gear as he dismantled the American in the opening set.

The 35-year-old converted his first break point in the fourth game, with a moment of magic that left commentators and viewers in awe.

Giron looked to have the sixth seed's measure when he met a defensive backhand from Nadal with a sharp forehand volley at the net.

However, Nadal showed insane court coverage to chase down the shot and conjure an extraordinary flicked backhand winner from a tight angle.

The Spaniard dropped just the one game as he cruised through the opening stanza in less than 25 minutes.

The second set was a much closer affair as the 20-time grand slam champion's American opponent began to find his rhythm.

Rafa Nadal begins Aus Open with a bang

Giron - the 28-year-old late bloomer to tennis who had his best-ever year in 2021 - pushed Nadal but couldn't find a way to overturn the World No.7's break in the opening game of the set.

The third set followed a similar pattern as the Spaniard consolidated his early break to open up another handy lead in the third.

Two more breaks for the Spaniard meant the writing was on the wall for Giron as Nadal clinched the third set 6-2 to book his place in the second round.

The dramatic deportation of World No.1 and nine-times champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer's injury-enforced absence has left Nadal as the only player with the chance to snare a record 21st men's grand slam singles crown this month.

Pictured here, Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning the second set against Marcos Giron at the 2022 Australian Open.
Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning the second set against Marcos Giron in the first round of the 2022 Australian Open. Pic: Getty

And the great Spaniard needed only one hour and 48 minutes to confirm he's over the injuries that dogged his 2021 season, not to mention his bout of Covid-19 only last month.

As well as clubbing 34 clean winners, Nadal broke Giron five times and offered up only one break point on his own serve all match.

A five-times finalist in Melbourne and champion in 2009, the former World No.1 will play either resurgent home hope Thanasi Kokkinakis or German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in the second round on Wednesday.

with AAP

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