Tennis

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Rafael Nadal makes very classy gesture to Leonardo Mayer after straight sets victory

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Rafael Nadal is through to the third round of the Australian Open after defeating Leonardo Mayer in straight sets on Wednesday. 

The world number one is yet to drop a set in the tournament so far but was made to work much harder than the 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-4) score might suggest.

Nadal appeared well on his way to victory in the middle of the third set and was serving for the match at 5-4 but his 30-year-old Argentine opponent courageously broke back to subsequently force a tie-break, where he again pushed Nadal for every point.

Despite Mayer's late fightback, it was the Spaniard who progressed but he fully recognised just how tricky the match had been.

And just in case he needed any more fans, Nadal would have certainly won over a few more supporters with his classy gesture immediately after the win.

As you can see below, Mayer had already gathered his belongings and started making his way off court while Nadal was getting changed.

Nevertheless, the world number one stopped what he was doing to join the crowd in attendance in respectfully clapping Mayer.

Mayer, ranked 52nd in the world, seemed to look in Rafa's direction and give a nod of acknowledgement to his opponent. He then raised his arms and politely responded to the Rod Laver crowd.

As the commentator quite succinctly put; "What a sportsman!"

After the match, Rafa said: "An important victory for me, he’s a tough opponent, He’s a player with big potential.

"You saw in the last few games how tough it was. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season.

2018 Australian Open - Day 3

"I’m happy to be in the third round after a while without being in competition, that’s a second win in a row for me."

Rafa will face Bosnian 29th seed Damir Dzumhur in the 3rd round as he continues his quest for a 17th Grand Slam title.

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Topics:
Australian Open
Tennis
Rafael Nadal

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