Top-seeded Rafael Nadal advanced to the third round at the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 win over Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis on Thursday while Maria Sharapova survived the intense challenge from Karin Knapp.
Nadal won the match in 1 hour, 53 minutes and was rarely troubled under the roof at Rod Laver Arena in a delayed scheduled at Melbourne Park, where temperatures hit 43 Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) earlier Thursday and forced organizers to suspend matches on outer courts.
Nadal missed the last Australian Open due to a seven-month absence from the tour with injuries and illness, and returned later in the season to win 10 titles and regain the No. 1 ranking. He lost an epic, five-set final to Novak Djokovic in the 2012 Australian Open.
Sharapova advanced to the third round with a gruelling 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 win in 3 hours, 28 minutes on Thursday.
Sharapova, playing her second tournament back from extended time off for a right shoulder injury.