Tennis: Rafael Nadal brushes aside local hero to reach 3rd round in Australian Open

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates defeating Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia during their men's singles match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne, on Jan 16, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates defeating Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia during their men's singles match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne, on Jan 16, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MELBOURNE (AFP) - World No. 1 Rafael Nadal crushed 17-year-old home hope Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets to advance to the Australian Open third round today.

The Spaniard, who missed last year's event through injury, was kept in the Rod Laver Arena for one hour and 53 minutes before winning 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 against the 570th-ranked Australian.

The top seed broke Kokkinakis' serve five times and saved three break points against him in a routine victory for a player chasing a 14th Grand Slam title and his second Australian crown after winning in Melbourne in 2009.

"Very glad," said Nadal when asked if he was happy the stadium roof was closed after the tournament's Extreme Heat Policy was enforced after temperatures soared over 40 deg C.

"I think I played a great first set. The second set, I was serving well but I made a few mistakes. In the third set, I played well, especially down the line with a few winners so that was a positive way to end the match."

He next plays either American Jack Sock or French 25th seed Gael Monfils.