A ruthless Rafa Nadal preserved his creaky knees for tougher tests down the road by routing
Dominican journeyman Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1 6-1 6-1 to sail into the second round of the Australian Open on Monday.
Playing his first competitive match since pulling out of the ATP Tour Finals with knee trouble in November, the world number one showed no signs of early season rust as he tore through the evening match at Rod Laver Arena in one hour and 34 minutes.
The 31-year-old, who lost last year’s final in a five-set classic with long-time rival Roger Federer, brought up three match points with a huge serve and closed out the match on the first when 37-year-old Estrella Burgos parried a return long.
Nadal’s bid for a second Australian Open title and 17th grand slam