US Open: Rafael Nadal breezes past John Millman to reach second round
Nadal raises his arms in triumph after steamrolling Millman/Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal opened his 2019 US Open campaign with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 over giant-killer John Millman in the opener to the night session at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Millman, who famously upset Roger Federer on his way to the quarterfinals here last year, was no match for the second seed, who wasn't broken in the two hour, seven minute contest. Nadal will face Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round. 

Nadal storms past Millman to reach the second round

It was Millman who was determined to replicate last year's upset as he earned an early break point on the Nadal serve, but his backhand missed and the Spaniard held. The Aussie was then on the back foot as Nadal leaned into a backhand to set up two break points and he only needed one when Millman flew a forehand long.

The world number 60 was in danger of going down a double break at 4-1, 0-30, but he responded to stay in touch. Serving for the set, Nadal was issued a time violation warning, but it mattered little as he held to 15 to claim the opening set. Millman held his own to begin the second set, including digging out of 15-30 in his opening service game.

The Aussie was in trouble in the fifth game as Nadal used his punishing groundstrokes to break and take a 3-2 advantage. Milkman's forehand was letting him down and an error off that wing put Nadal up a double break at 5-2. It was the Aussie's turn to have a look at break chances, but a missed return and an ace erased both opportunities. Another ace gave Nadal a two-set lead.

The Spaniard continued his ruthless ways in the third set, breaking Millman on his sixth chance with a crushing forehand that drew an error from the Aussie. The double break was confirmed soon after when Millman flew a forehand long to give Nadal a 3-0 lead. The rest of the match was a mere formality as the second seed closed out proceedings with a forehand winner.

VAVEL Logo