Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning against Florian Mayer in the first round of the 2017 Australian Open Getty

Rafael Nadal will take on Marcos Baghdatis in the second round of the 2017 Australian Open at the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday (19 January).

Where to watch live

The game is set to start at 9.30am GMT. Live coverage of the game is available on British Eurosport and Eurosport 1.

Overview

Nadal looked back to full fitness during his comfortable first round win over Florian Mayer. The Spaniard who is coming back from an injury absence was untroubled throughout the game and looked completely in control winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and four minutes.

The former world number one is seeded ninth at the Australian Open after he dropped down the rankings after missing a number of tournaments and cutting his season short in 2016. His low seeding is likely to see him face number six seed Gael Monfils in the fourth round, and Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals – that is if the trio win all their remaining matches.

The 14-time Grand Slam winner will take on experienced campaigner and former top-10 star Marcos Baghdatis in the second round. The duo have faced each other nine times in the past with Nadal holding an 8-1 record.

The Cypriot beat Mikhail Youzhny in the first round after the Russian retired when he was 6-3, 3-0 down. Baghdatis played in two ATP tournaments prior to the Australian Open. He lost in the first round at the Qatar Open to Radek Stepanek and then in the semi-finals at the ASB Classic in New Zealand to Joao Sousa.

The winner of the match between Nadal and Baghdatis will play either 24th seed Alexander Zverev or American Frances Tiafoe in the third round.

Betting odds (Betfair)

  • Nadal win: 1/18
  • Baghdatis win: 8

Head-to-head

The duo have met each other on nine occasions in the past with the Spaniard holding a commanding 8-1 lead. They have met on the Grand Slam stage on just one occasion when Nadal beat Baghdatis in the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2006. Their latest meeting was at the Stuttgart Open in 2015 when Nadal won in three sets.