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Rafael Nadal hit 32 winners for his ninth win in 10 meetings against Marcos Baghdatis on Thursday at the Australian Open.

Nadal Cruises Past Baghdatis, Now For Zverev

Ninth seed and 2009 champion Rafael Nadal dominated 2006 finalist Marcos Baghdatis in a superb performance of attacking tennis on Thursday night at the Australian Open.

Nadal improved to 9-1 lifetime against Baghdatis with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 win on Rod Laver Arena over two hours and 12 minutes. He opened up a 5-1 lead in the first set and won the first four games in the second set, then finished with a cross-court forehand winner to improve to a 47-10 mark at Melbourne Park.

"I haven't played during the night here yet,” Nadal said during an on-court interview with fellow former World No. 1 Jim Courier. “So the conditions are different. The ball is lower so I had to adjust for a start. I have been solid with my serve. I feel my body has no injuries now. I've had lots of success and lots of memories from where I have played. I can't complain. I am trying to enjoy every moment I have on court."

Nadal will now meet #NextGenATP star and No. 24 seed Alexander Zverev in the third round. The pair met at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells last year, with Nadal saving one match point in a 6-7(8), 6-0, 7-5 win. Zverev had led 5-2 in the deciding set.

"It will be a big challenge for me,” said Nadal. “He is a potential Grand Slam winner. He's a big talented player. He's improving in every moment he's on the tour. He can be a future World No. 1."

Zverev reached the Australian Open third round for the first time earlier in the day when he beat #NextGenATP American qualifier Frances Tiafoe 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 in just under two hours.

”It was difficult in the beginning for me,” said Zverev. “It was different conditions than the first round. First round on Hisense is kind of an indoor court. Court 2 is much faster. But still, I actually played well in the beginning. I felt like I was struggling a little bit from the baseline. But then I got it better. I'm happy to get a straight-sets win and be better prepared for the next match.”

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