Melbourne, Jan 23 (IANS) Spanish world no.1 Rafael Nadal on Thursday eased into the third round of the Australian Open to set up a match against compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta. Nadal beat Argentina's Federico Delbonis 6-3, 7-6, 6-1 in a match that lasted two hours and thirty minutes at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
The win also means that chances of Nadal facing Australian Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round remain alive. The pair have had a few fiery encounters in the past, most notably in a four-set thriller at the 2019 Wimbledon in which Nadal prevailed.
Local favourite Kyrgios downed France's Giles Simon 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in a match that lasted 11 minutes under three hours.
German world no.7 Alexander Zverev also progressed to the third round where he will face Spaniard Federico Verdasco. Zverev beat Belarus' Egor Gerasimov 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 on Thursday.
Czech world no.2 Karolina Pliskova beat Germany's Laura Siegemund in straight sets to set up a third round match against Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Romanian world no.4 Simona Halep beat Briton Harriet Dart in straight sets and will face Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva in the third round.