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Nadal advances to Aussie Open 3rd round; Del Potro stunned

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

International Sports Desk, Jan 16 (EFE).- Spain's Rafael Nadal defeated 17-year-old home-crowd favorite Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 Thursday in a second-round match played indoors due to extreme weather conditions, but Argentine Juan Martin del Potro was stunned in five sets by Roberto Bautista Agut.

Temperatures as high as 109 F at Melbourne Park forced the postponement of matches on the outer courts and the closure of the roof on Rod Laver Arena, where Nadal's match got under way several hours later than originally scheduled.

The world No. 1 dominated from start to finish against his talented but inexperienced opponent, striking 39 winners and committing just 19 errors.

Nadal faced three break points in the match, all of them in the second set, but he staved off each one to the disappointment of the crowd.

He also was efficient with his return game, converting five of the 10 break points he earned.

"With the roof, the conditions are better, no doubt. Very happy to see the roof out there today. But still very humid. Still very hard conditions even with the roof on that match," Nadal said in the post-match press conference.

"I think I played a great first set, not many mistakes, serving well, finishing the set playing aggressive with my forehand."

Next up for Nadal in the third round will be 25th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils, who defeated American Jack Sock 7-6 (7-2), 7-5, 6-2.

In other results Thursday in the men's draw, four-time champion Roger Federer, the No. 6 seed, topped Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), but Del Potro, the No. 5 seed, was stunned by Spaniard Bautista Agut 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.

Last year's runner-up, fourth-seeded Scotsman Andy Murray, cruised past Frenchman Vincent Millot 6-2, 6-2, 7-5.

In the women's draw, Russian No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova got a scare from Italian Karin Knapp but pulled out a 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 victory.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/140116/nadal-advances-aussie-open-3rd-round-del-potro-stunned