Rafael Nadal hits backhand at Australian Open

WATCH: Rafael Nadal produces must-see winner as he advances at Australian Open

Rafael Nadal produced glimpses of his best tennis as he defeated Yannick Hanfmann in the second round of the Australian Open.

The German qualifier produced some outstanding battling tennis to keep Nadal close in the opening set, and he refused to go away throughout the match on Rod Laver.

However, it was Nadal who produced the best moments, with one particular cross-court passing shot appearing to defy physics itself.

Nadal still looks a little short of his best after such a long time out injured, but after the match he was quick to credit the efforts of Hanfmann.

“I played against him, if I am not wrong, the first round of Roland Garros a couple of years ago,” Nadal said after his 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win.

“I know he’s dangerous. The result against Thanasi [Kokkinakis] in the first round here says that he was playing great, and coming from the qualis he was used to the courts.

“And he’s a player with big shots, good serve and with very high potential.

“I think today his level of tennis was much higher than what his ranking says, without a doubt. So I wish him all the very best. He’s a great guy.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.