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Australian Open 2012: Rafael Nadal Eases To 1st-round Win Over Alex Kuznetsov

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Spain's Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Alex Kuznetsov, left, of the US following their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship, in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Spain's Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Alex Kuznetsov, left, of the US following their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship, in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Rafael Nadal eased into the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 win over American qualifier Alex Kuznetsov on Monday.

Nadal dominated Kuznetsov after a relatively close first set, breaking his opponent five times to capture the final two sets in just over an hour.

The American had two break opportunities with Nadal serving for the match at 5-1, but the 10-time Grand Slam winner saved the first one with a forehand down the line and the second with a forehand crosscourt winner. He finished the match off with his ninth ace.

Nadal, the 2009 Australian Open champion, has never lost in the first round of a Grand Slam.

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