Tuesday, Jul 23, 2019
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Sweeting to play World No. 1 Nadal next

Bahamian-born Ryan Sweeting’s celebration for advancing to the second round of the Australian Open might be short-lived, as he will have to deal with top seed and World No. 1 player Rafael Nadal from Spain, in the next round.

The 6-4, 6-4 and 6-1 win over Daniel Gimeno-Traver, is Sweeting’s best performance at a Grand Slam event, since joining the professional rankings. The second round match against Nadal will be the biggest grand slam match for Sweeting, who currently plays under the American banner.

Nadal had a relatively easy opener, winning 6-0, 5-0 ret. over Marcos Daniel. Sweeting and Nadal will play their second round match on Thursday. Sweeting was one of 16 qualifiers for this year’s tournament, being played in Melbourne, Australia.

Also moving on to the second round, of doubles play, was Mark Knowles and his new partner Michal Mertinak. The 12th seeded team is scheduled to play Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer. Knowles and Mertinak, from Slovakia, eliminated Teymuraz Gabashvilli and Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-4 and 7-6(5)while Butorac and Rojer defeated Andrey Golubev and Denis Istomin, 7-6(4), 4-6 and 6-0.

Knowles will also play in the mixed doubles division with Elena Vesnina, of Russia. They are scheduled to play Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan, who are the top seeds.

Last year, Knowleswas forced to withdraw after suffering an injury to his left calf. At that time, he and former partner American Mardy Fish, were playing Carston Ball and Stephen Huss. The withdrawal was the beginning of a roller coaster season for Knowles and Fish. The duo parted ways late last year.

The Medibank International was the first tournament of the year for Knowles and Mertinak. The Bahamian/Slovakian team was eliminated in the quarter-final rounds, 6-3 and 6-2, to Mike and Bob Bryan, who finished as the runner-up to Lukas Dlouhy and Paul Hanley.

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