Australian Open: Rafael Nadal cruises past Matthew Ebden to catch Edberg



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Australian Open: Rafael Nadal cruises past Matthew Ebden to catch Edberg

The world no. 2 and 2009 Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal has scored his 249th Grand Slam win after a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Matthew Ebden. The Spaniard secured his 57th win at the Australian Open, passing Stefan Edberg to achieve the third place on the ultimate list behind Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Serving at 65%, Nadal delivered some solid numbers in his games, fending off all four break point to keep the pressure on the other side of the net and converting five out of nine chances to stay in front all the time. The 17-time Grand Slam champion fired 33 winners while Matthew couldn't match that, spraying 30 unforced errors and failing to move the rival from the comfort zone or force him to play from more awkward positions.

Matthew was there to fight in the opening six games, following Nadal's pace and creating three break points in the seventh game that could have pushed him in front. Rafa saved the first two with good hitting but Ebden had a chance to convert the third, netting a volley to waste his opportunities and suffering a break in the very next game after a costly double fault.

Serving for the set at 5-3, Rafa landed a forehand winner to hold at 15 and bring the set home in 35 minutes, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the match. The Spaniard lost just five points on serve in the second set, taming his shots nicely and earning a break in game three after a loose forehand from Ebden.

The Aussie got broken again in the seventh game when his volley finished in the net, allowing Rafa to forge two sets to love lead in just 70 minutes after a service winner. Just like in the second set, Nadal broke the rival in games two and seven in the third set, saving a break point while serving for the match at 5-2 and moving over the top with a forehand down the line winner that pushed him into the last 32. Second round results:

[2]Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs Matthew Ebden (AUS) 6-3 6-2 6-2