Never forget Spanish. And Rafael Nadal, ranked fifth in the world, gained strength on Wednesday to defeat without trembling (6-2, 6-3, 6-4) German Yannick Hanfmann (126th place), who was not worthy of him and qualify for the third round. “Today, his level was much higher than his ranking indicates,” the 35-year-old Spaniard insisted on his opponent.
Nadal will face Russia’s Karen Khachanov (30) and Frenchman Benjamin Ponzi (63) on Friday for a place in the round of 16. Against Hanfmann, who played his luck bravely, he looked pretty solid during the 2h42 match that lasted, both physically and in his game (30 winning moves for 26 non-forced fouls), even if it took five points of the match to finish.
PERFECT: Adrian Mannarino releases the No. 10 workbook
We weren’t expecting this. Or at least not very clever. Against the 10th seed, Poland’s Hurkacz, French Adrian Mannarino (the 69th player in the world) qualified easily for the third round in three sets (6-4, 6-2, 6-3). He is undoubtedly the most beautiful success of his Grand Slam career, at the age of 33.
Other performance: Kiki Karu finally won together
With two, at least, they win! Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia, who haven’t played together since 2017, qualified for the second round of the doubles tournament. Both were knocked out in the first round in the singles, defeating Australian pair Mendes Preston. Apart from the Olympics and the Fed Cup, they have not lined up together in the doubles since their quarter-final defeat in Dubai in 2017. Their last major was the 2017 Australian Open, where they reached the semi-finals. They won the Roland Garros Championship in 2016.
Photo: French Harmony Tan leaves the stadium in a wheelchair
Harmony Tan, ranked 107th in the world, was forced to surrender at the end of the match in the second round against Ukrainian Elina Svitolina (17), who suffered a left calf injury. The French, who was 24 in her first Australian major, trailed 6-3, 5-7, 5-1 when she threw the towel on her serve before leaving the field in a wheelchair. Playing for the first time in her career in a place as big as Margaret Court Arena, she did everything to finish the match. But she ended up listening to the referee, who advised her to surrender so that the injury that was making her suffer more and more would not worsen.
Since the start of the competition, world number one Ashleigh Barty has lost only three matches. Last night, against Italian Lucia Bronzetti (142nd place and qualifying), it unfolded (6-1, 6-1 in 52 minutes). The Australian, who took just 54 minutes to pass Lesia Tsurenko (119) (6-0, 6-1) in the first round, will be full of energy in her first real test of the tournament on Friday against Italian Camila Giorgi (33). Winner of two Grand Slam titles (Roland Garros 2019 and Wimbledon 2021), Barty is striving for her first title in Australia. She had reached the semi-finals there in 2020 and lost in the quarter-finals in 2021.
“I tested positive for Covid when I left Australia. So I will be staying here for another week in solitary confinement.” Two days after losing in the first round to compatriot Richard Gasquet, Ugo Humbert was counting on a return to France tonight. But a Covid test, which is mandatory before leaving Australia, has forced him to extend his stay in Melbourne.
A dream that passes: Mutit loses his marathon
Corentin Mutier, the 100th French player in the world, cherished the dream of achievement. But he cracked and surrendered to Sebastian Korda, 43. The American won 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 7-5, 7-6 (10/6) in… 4:47.