Rafa Nadal. | Reuters/Dean Lewins


Rafa Nadal defied injury to reach the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday, crushing Laslo Djere 6-3 6-4 6-1.

"It's been a difficult fortnight for me because of my discomfort, but at least I've been able to survive,” said the Mallorcan tennis ace. “I'm happy to have got through in three sets.”

It’s the 15th time Nadal has made it to the second round at Melbourne Park and the 16th time he’s participation in the first Grand Slam of the season. The only time he didn’t make it through was in 2016 when he played against Fernando Verdasco.

The longer I stay in the tournament, the more options I will have to solve my back problem,” he says. “Today I had to serve in a different way and it brought me a win, but if the first serve fails and I have to serve a second ball it’s a problem, because you serve thinking about what to do so that the situation doesn’t get any worse, but the rest I have no problem with.”

Rafa will find out who his next opponent is after the match between American Michael Mmoh and Serbian Viktor Troicki.