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Rafael Nadal begins his quest for a second Australian Open title.

Nadal Untroubled In Aussie Open Kickoff

Spaniard next faces Hanfmann

Rafael Nadal enjoyed a trouble-free opening to his 2022 Australian Open campaign Monday, dismissing World No. 66 American Marcos Giron 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second round.

As he sets forth on a mission to win a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title, the Spaniard will be pleased to have enjoyed a quick stay on court in mild conditions. Nadal improved to 4-0 on the year, having won his 89th title at the Melbourne Summer Set in week one.

Nadal dropped just eight points on his first serve, clubbed 34 winners (including seven aces) to Giron's 10 and saved both break points he faced to advance after one hour and 49 minutes. He moved with confidence and didn’t’ appear troubled by his past foot injury, although he admitted to some remaining uncertainty.

“It’s been a very challenging few months… tough moments with a lot of doubts – there still are doubts,” Nadal said. “But I am here and I can’t be happier to be back in Australia in this amazing stadium.

“You never know when you come back from injury, which unfortunately I have a lot of experience with, how things will be, so you have to take it day by day. You have to forgive yourself if things aren’t going the proper way.”

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The 2009 Australian Open champion is also attempting to become just the second man behind Novak Djokovic to win all four majors at least twice.

He is also trying to become the third man in the Open Era to win the Australian Open after turning 35 after Roger Federer and Ken Rosewall.

Next up for the 20-time Grand Slam champion is the Yannick Hanfmann after the German defeated Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis  6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and eight minutes. 

Kokkinakis arrived in Melbourne in form, having captured his first tour-level title at the Adelaide International 2 last week. However, the World No. 103, who has been plagued by injury issues in recent years, was unable to find his best level against the German qualifier in their first ATPHead2Head meeting.

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