Nadal pushed by qualifier in Australian Open second round

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 21, 2015 7:44 AM

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Third seed Rafa Nadal battled through illness and poor timing on his groundstrokes to lurch into the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-2 3-6 6-7(2) 6-3 7-5 victory over American qualifier Tim Smyzcek on Wednesday.

Nadal appeared to be affected by something in the second set as he sweated profusely and took his time between changeovers before calling for the doctor early in the third set with television microphones picking up he had an upset stomach.

Smyzcek cantered through the third set tiebreak before Nadal, who had reportedly been bitten under the eye by a mosquito while practicing ahead of the match, established a 5-2 lead in the fourth set and sent it into a decider.

The fifth set went on serve until Nadal finally broke the resistance of Smyzcek, whose scrambling game resembles that of former top-five player David Ferrer, in the 11th game before wrapping up the win on his fourth match.

He will next play Israel's Dudi Sela.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury, editing by Pritha Sarkar)