While Britain's Andy Murray cruised through to the third round in his match at the Australian Open today, two of the biggest expected barriers to his progress into the later rounds and maybe even the final itself struggled in the Melbourne heat. Both the world number two Roger Federer and number three Rafael Nadal survived scares in their matches before surviving to fight another day. Whether their respective ailments will hamper them further in the later rounds is a matter of conjecture at this stage though.
Nadal's form of late has been uninspiring to say the least and he will have been greatly relieved to avoid going out of Melbourne at the earliest stage in his career, as the qualifier Tim Smyczek from America pushed him all the way. At two sets to one behind, it had looked extremely bleak for the powerful Spaniard, but he found the reserves of energy and resolve to battle his way back into the match and eventually take it in five tough sets. He lost the third set on a tie-break after calling for the doctor for on-court treatment as he visibly doubled up from heavy stomach cramps on several occasions. After a series of injuries and illness hampered his progress during 2014, including during last year's Australian Open final where his performance suffered during the loss to Stan Wawrinka, these are troubling times yet again for the left-handed former Australian Open winner. Yet, you can never count a 14-times Grand Slam champion out and he could still be a force in the championship.
The Spaniard has been sporting the latest technology in the form of a new high-tech #Tennis racquet in Australia. The Babolat racquet is fitted with an on-off switch as part of the handle, in order to allow technical details of each shot he plays to be recorded, such as where on the racket he is striking the ball and what kind of spin he is imparting on the ball in play.
Like Nadal, Federer also had his own trials and tribulations before coming through in four sets against Italian Simone Bolelli. Seeking a fifth title in Australia, the Swiss number one lost the first set and needed treatment to his finger, before regaining his usual composure to clinch the match 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-2. #Celebrities