Vastavam web: Rafael Nadal says he has no doubts over a knee injury as he destroyed his opening round opponent at the Australian Open on Monday.The world No.1, a beaten finalist to Roger Federer in Melbourne last year, clinically took apart Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in 94 minutes in the night match on Rod Laver Arena.It forced him to skip the lead-up Brisbane International this month, and he only had a one-match workout at the exhibition Kooyong Classic in Melbourne ahead of the open.
But he said his troublesome right knee felt absolutely fine during his rout of Estrella Burgos.Nadal, who wore no protective strapping on his knee, left nothing to chance with eight service breaks and 28 winners in a complete first-up performance.It took the 31-year-old Spaniard’s Australian Open record to 52-11 as he chases his second Australian title after beating Federer in the 2009 final.
“It’s a positive start with a good result. If I do months without playing official match it’s always a little bit more difficult,” he said.Nadal needs to reach the quarter-finals to be certain of retaining his world number one ranking after the Australian Open, with Federer breathing down his neck.The top seed only conceded three games in the match and had few problems with Estrella Burgos, who has a modest 6-15 record at Grand Slams.
Nadal is at his first major tournament in years without his uncle Toni, who coached him from childhood until after his US Open win last year.”Toni was not always in the (player’s) box. It’s true that in the Grand Slams he was here all the time,” Nadal said.”I cannot think about that all day. I just have to move forward, believe in the team I have. I feel lucky I have Carlos today in my box, and the rest of the team that is a huge support.