In front of a adoring crowd at the Rod Laver Arena, 9th seed Rafael Nadal beat Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to set up a second-round clash with Marcos Baghdatis.
While the scoreline suggested a fairly routine win, the 49th-ranked Mayer didn't go down without a fight, making Nadal work, especially in the second and third set.
The first set saw the legendary Spaniard, who won the Australian Open in 2009, break Mayer early and never looked back from there to take the tie in a little over two hours.
Watched on by longtime coach Toni Nadal and the new acquisition to his coaching team, Carlos Moya, ‘Rafa’ made more unforced errors than his opponent, but his sheer number of winners proved to be too much for Mayer.
In both the second and third set, Nadal broke at 4-4, to serve out first the set and later the match.
While he never looked close to being broken on his own serve, the errors that crept into his game suggest he isn't quite in top-form at the moment, understandable considering his recent fitness issues in the past.
The 30-year-old showed glimpses of his glorious past with a few forehand winners down the line making the crowd swoon with delight on numerous occasions, raising hopes that the left-hander can make a deep run Down Under.