Rafa Nadal gave the next generation a lesson in grand slam tennis by dismantling teenage talent Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2 6-4 6-2 to cruise into the third round of the Australian Open.

A junior finalist at Melbourne Park and the U.S. Open last year, 17-year-old Kokkinakis underlined his potential by blazing 21 winners against the world number one to the delight of rowdy home fans at Rod Laver Arena.

But the rangy Australian was unable to match the firepower of the super-fit Spaniard, who wrapped up the match with a booming serve in under two hours.

Nadal will next play either 25th seed Gael Monfils or American Jack Sock.

Roger Federer spent as little time as he needed recording a 6-2 6-1 7-6 victory over Slovenian Blaz Kavcic.

Playing under the closed roof of Hisense Arena due to the extreme heat that had earlier suspended play on the uncovered courts, Federer raced through the first set in 26 minutes with a strong service game and by belting 17 winners.

Heat suspends play

Federer's sixth ranking - courtesy of a sub-par 2013 - had given the impression of a 32-year-old man whose skills may be diminishing as he enters the twilight of his illustrious career.

That presumption was emphatically rejected when Kavcic held two break points in the fourth game of the second set and had Federer scrambling back and forth in a 23-shot rally only for the Swiss to force a forehand error.

The hard-hitting world number 99 simply stood hands on hips slowly shaking his head as if pondering what to do next.

The Slovenian did manage to break on the next point and thrust his arms skyward in mock triumph, though that only served to fire up Federer who won 13 of the next 16 points to clinch the set in 28 minutes.

The third set was a little closer with Kavcic's serve improving markedly but he could not halt the inevitable as Federer ended the 107-minute lesson when he clinched the tie-break 7-4.

Federer will now meet either 31st seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco or Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili in the third round.

Andy Murray won 23 consecutive points in an inspired passage of play to emerge from a hole and roar to a 6-2 6-2 7-5 victory over qualifier Vincent Millot on Thursday and reach the third round of the Australian Open.

Two sets up and 1-1 in the third, Wimbledon champion Murray looked poised to coast to another easy win at Melbourne Park but was reduced to a spectator as the Frenchman charged into a 5-1 lead with a barrage of sweetly-struck winners under the lights at Rod Laver Arena.

Surprised but not rattled, the Scot steeled himself to save a set point before mounting an extraordinary counter-attack that ended with a booming serve and left him punching the air and yelling triumphantly.

"I was up 6-2, 6-2. Then out of nowhere he started playing unbelievable," Murray told reporters.

"Sometimes you need to remind yourself that it's going to be hard for him to keep that up - it's low-percentage tennis."

After successfully negotiating his fourth match since a long layoff from back surgery, the fourth seed will play Feliciano Lopez of Spain for a place in the fourth round.

Juan Martin Del Potro became the first major casualty in the Australian Open men's draw in the early hours of Friday morning when he was beaten 4-6 6-3 5-7 6-4 7-5 by Spain's Roberto Bautista in the second round.

The fifth-seeded Argentine had shown signs that he might be returning to his best form with victory in the warm-up tournament in Sydney but succumbed in a three-hour 53-minute thriller on court two.

The extreme heat kept the former U.S. Open champion and his 62nd-ranked opponent off court until 9.25pm local time and they treated the crowd to an exciting match in which they combined for 100 unforced errors and 125 winners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Al Jazeera