Rafael Nadal will step up his bid for a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title when he faces Argentina´s Federico Delbonis at the Australian Open on Thursday.
Rafael Nadal can only count one Melbourne title among his 19 Majors.
But, he will be confident of reaching the third round at least after winning all three previous meetings with Delbonis.
Swiss great Roger Federer and eight-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic are already through after straightforward wins.
Roger Federer wins 20 Grand Slam tournaments.
Nadal has dropped only 10 games to 76th-ranked Delbonis in their previous meetings but he´s not immune to Grand Slam shocks.
Victory in Melbourne would make Nadal the first man in the Open era — and only the third in history — to win all four Major titles twice, after Roy Emerson and Rod Laver.
Later on Thursday, Nick Kyrgios faces Frenchman Gilles Simon as he looks to become the tournament´s first home-grown men´s champion since Mark Edmondson in 1976.
“I´m just playing for a lot more than myself. I´ve said it before… there´s not necessarily added pressure. I feel like I´m playing for a lot of people,” he said.
The 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka takes on Italy´s Andreas Seppi.
World number five Dominic Thiem is up against Australia´s Alex Bolt, ranked 135 places lower.
In the women’s draw, Wimbledon champion Simona halep takes on Britain’s Harriet Dart.
And 2016 Melbourne winner Angelique Kerber faces Australia´s Priscilla Hon.
Rafael Nadal Parera is a Spanish professional tennis player currently ranked world no. 1 in men’s singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals.