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Summary

  1. Rafael Nadal beats American qualifier in five sets
  2. Spaniard wins 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 7-5
  3. Nadal received treatment during third set for illness
  4. Match takes four hours and 12 minutes
  5. GET INVOLVED: #bbctennis or 81111 on text

Live Reporting

By Mike Henson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Rafael Nadal and Tim Smyczek

    One hundred and seven winners, a possible on-court vomit and only a game or so difference over 252 minutes of a stratospheric tennis.

    Rafael Nadal v Tim Smyczek is one to file away under unlikely classics in your tennis memory banks.

    Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. See you back here soon for more of the same.

  2. Post update

    The result of that one will be in our round-up, but in the meantime let's take a little spin forward to tomorrow's schedule.

    And what about this for a round two match-up? Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki against two-time champion Victoria Azarenka.

    That one gets going at 08:00 GMT on Margaret Court while Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur give Rod Laver Arena a local twang.

  3. Post update

    Bear in mind that it is now 23:50 in Melbourne. On a weeknight as well.

    The action is not nearly done on the Rod Laver Arena though.

    Jarmila Gajdosova, born in Bratislava, living in Dallas, but representing Australia, is currently taking on third seed Simona Halep of Romania.

    She is 2-1 down in the opening set after losing her serve.

  4. Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!

    Bernard Tomic

    It has been a good day to be at Melbourne Park.

    While Rafa was scraping into the third round, over on the Margaret Court Arena, Bernard Tomic got the home fans a'hollering with a four-set win over 22nd seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber.

    He will play another Australian in the third round in the shape of Sam Groth - who disposed of teenage compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis over five sets.

  5. Post update

    After that scare, Rafael Nadal will be pleased that it is not the face of 2012 Wimbledon conqueror Lukas Rosol that will greet him at the third round coin toss.

    The Czech 28th seed was beaten by Israel's Dudi Sela earlier today in the match next to this one in the draw.

  6. Get involved

    #bbctennis

    Fahad Khan: This is why tennis missed Rafael Nadal. What a player - a gigantic pillar of raw mental strength.

    Nick Wall: Unlucky Smyczek; he played a great match, but that was superb defiance from Nadal. Indomitable champion.

    Mr H: Fantastic, fantastic match of tennis. Well done Rafa and really well done Tim. Great entertainment. Shame has to be a loser.

  7. Post update

    Rafael Nadal: "Today the conditions were a little humid for me. I tried to deal with my condition and the support of a fantastic crowd really helped.

    "I don't know what was going on. In the second set I started having cramps around my body, but all these processes are normal after a long time off the tour and hopefully I will be back to my normal level soon."

    Nadal also takes time to congratulate Tim Smyczek on his performance and thank him for an moment in the final game where the American let him retake his first serve after a shout from the crowd interrupted him mid ball toss.

  8. Post update

    Rafael Nadal of Spain, right, shakes hands with Tim Smyczek

    Tim Smyczek departs to 15,001 pairs of clapping hands. Not only is every spectator off their seat and applauding, but Rafael Nadal takes a moment from packing his bag to join in.

    Absolutely every decibel is fully deserved as well.

  9. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It's a sign of Nadal's greatness to get through that match. It means so much to him to win a tennis match. It was a phenomenal effort from Smyczek too."

  10. Post update

    David Law

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "Nadal celebrates as if he's won the title but he's only into the second round. He can't believe he's won."

  11. Game, set and match

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 7-5 Smyczek

    Rafael Nadal

    Rafael Nadal, almost working on muscle memory, is clinical for the first three.

    A serve out wide, followed in for 15-0.

    A backhand volley pins the open court for 30-0.

    Another tee-off straight into the American's body brings up 40-0.

    But Tim Smyczek is not going to bow out on a bum note.

    Back he battles to 30-40 and Nadal with a clean play on the ball finds only the net!

    Finally though Nadal finds the winning combination - a serve out wide, a big forehand back the other way and he can finally drop to his knees in celebration.

  12. Post update

    David Law

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "Poor old Smyczek who has battled the great Nadal for so long has finally wilted in the face of a barrage of hitting from Nadal. He did little wrong but we saw the greatness of Rafael Nadal there."

  13. Nadal breaks

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-5 Smyczek

    Rafael Nadal stretched as thinly as budget sandwich butter at 0-15, but he stays in the rally and finally gets his chance and lands brilliantly cross-court.

    Smyczek nicks a point back with a big serve, but a dipping pass nails the American on the toes for 15-40 and two break points.

    It only takes the one. Smyczek into the net. And out of the tournament? He has not much impression on the Nadal serve yet in this set.

  14. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 5-5 Smyczek*

    When you have been down into the depths of Grand Slam finals, maybe this doesn't really count as pressure.

    Rafael Nadal is locked on and with the forehand looking well oiled he holds to love.

    No tie-breaks in the fifth set remember. Fill that thermos, we could be here some time.

  15. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 4-5 Smyczek

    Rafael Nadal

    As the balls travel up to Tim Smyczek's end, both players indulge in a bit of shadow stroke play, swatting thin air and staring down their opponent.

    Let's get it on.

    Seconds out and Rafael Nadal humps in a huge forehand winner for 15-30 and then has a tantalising look down the line at 30-30. His forehand flies a centimetre or two long and the Spaniard has his head in his hand.

    That was the key point in the game and those are the margins. Nadal to serve to stay in the game next...

  16. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It is amazing how relaxed Smyczek looks right now. It's an absolute privilege to watch this match. He's in a situation he's never been in before but he seems to be enjoying it."

  17. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 4-4 Smyczek*

    My word. What tennis.

    Tim Smyczek whips a forehand winner off his shins and from way behind his baseline. Another 24-carat beauty follows, as he buries a backhand down the the line to bring up 15-30.

    Rafael Nadal is finding the sweet spot as well though. The Spaniard runs around his forehand and finds a jagging angle for 40-30.

    Smyczek crushes a return for deuce. More Nadal power closes the door.

    String stretched as wide as pupils as the Rod Laver crowd lap it up.

  18. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Smyczek is seeing the ball like a football. He is launching into big forehands and backhands to put the pressure on Nadal. He is hitting the ball so well."

  19. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 3-4 Smyczek

    How are those nerves?

    Tim Smyczek's bottle gets tested as Rafael Nadal works up a 15-30 scoreline.

    A big serve keeps the wolf from the door for the moment, but Rafael Nadal forces him deep and into the net to bring up break point.

    First serve missed.

    Second serve sits up pretty for Nadal to hit, but his backhand punt drifts well wide. That was a chance.

    There are not any more offered up either. Two more missed returns and that game will feature heavily in Uncle Toni's post-mortem if this turns out to be a loss.

  20. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 3-3 Smyczek*

    Both players' serves are now looking locked down Fort Knox-tight.

    It is Rafael Nadal's turn to hold to love - clumping power behind the forehand and piercing serves.

  21. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 2-3 Smyczek

    Tim Smyczek wouldn't bat an eyelid if Rafael Nadal pulled on roller-skates and replaced his usual racquet with one double the size.

    The American looks totally unfazed by the situation and serves out to love with a thumping ace.

    This is the bit where he is supposed to fold and we all congratulate him on a fight well fought.

    This bit doesn't look like it is in Smyczek's script.

  22. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 2-2 Smyczek*

    Tim Smyczek

    And after two ding-donging games to open the deciding set, we have had two more straightforward ones to follow.

    Rafael Nadal holds to 15, but as the Spaniard trots to the other end the crowd are not singing his name.

    "Timmy! Timmy!" is the chant from large part of the Rod Laver Arena.

  23. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 1-2 Smyczek

    No sign of the winners running dry off Tim Smyczek's racquet. A forehand winner flows into a backhand winner and then an ace.

    A hold to 15 and he strolls over to his chair and casually shakes up a bottle of isotonic as a reward.

    A cracking stat from David Law on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra by the way: Nadal has won more Grand Slam titles (14) than Smyczek has played Grand Slam matches (13).

    Put that in your pipe.

  24. Get involved

    #bbctennis

    Mr H: Great to see great players getting pushed all the way by lesser known players. Good for the sport!

  25. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Smyczek will have to play relentless tennis. He'll need point after point of top-class tennis and that will be very hard to do against someone like Nadal."

  26. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 1-1 Smyczek*

    The game only gets underway after a minute or so of faffing around with a camera that is buzzing around in Tim Smyczek's eyeline behind Rafael Nadal's serving arm.

    It was worth the wait. Without the distraction, Smyczek absolutely smites a forehand returns for a clean winner and 30-30.

    Not a flicker of celebration from the American. He is saving all that for a possible win.

    Smyczek unloads the full payload in the next two rallies, walloping everything within reach and it is enough to crowbar the deuce door open.

    Nadal can dance to this mix though. Two thumping forehands of his own close out the game.

    Two slug-fest games to open the decider and that is just how we, and the Rod Laver crowd, like it.

  27. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Nadal is certainly moving better now and his forehand is looking more potent, but maybe this is Smyczek's moment."

  28. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 0-1 Smyczek

    A beautifully weighted backhand volley from Tim Smyczek wins one rally. A blur of a return from Rafael Nadal on the next.

    Plenty of quality still out there despite the late hour and the physical demands.

    Another pearler from Nadal, a backhand down the line, brings up deuce.

    The Spaniard runs around a forehand and fires a shot down the same trajectory on the next rally for a break point.

    Tim Smyczek has shown titanium nerves though and lures Nadal into the net as he keeps hitting depth despite the scoreline.

    A sledgehamer forehand from the American recovers another and he finally closes the lid on the game with a big serve.

    A chance missed for Nadal, but there will be more. Can Smyzcek create his own opportunities?

  29. Get involved

    #bbctennis

    Rachel Innes: The stats between Smyczek and Nadal are interesting. Fifth set match with a Slam champ is virtually unknown territory for Smyczek.

  30. Experience on Nadal's side

    • Rafael Nadal has won 710 matches in his career; Smyczek 23 matches
    • Nadal has won 16 five-set matches; Smyczek has only played three (won two)
  31. Post update

    Tim Smyczek

    This bathroom is getting more use than a Portaloo on the last day of Glastonbury. Tim Smyczek excuses himself ahead of the start of the decider.

  32. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Nadal has such resilience. He's facing adversity and isn't feeling very well but he managed to compose himself. He knows how to manage his time between points and conserve his energy. That comes from experience. Smyczek hasn't got that experience, especially over five sets, and he'll need to lift his game again."

  33. Nadal wins fourth set

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 Smyczek*

    Tim Smyczek has a good one-two punch tactic worked out - returning deep, cramping up Rafael Nadal and then pinging down the line into wide corridors of space - but it is not enough to save him.

    Rafael Nadal stretches him out wide with a serve at 40-30 and Smyczek flings himself left but can't block back.

    We are into a fifth. And it is probably advantage Nadal after he steered himself home in the fourth and started to look a little less green.

  34. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 5-3 Smyczek

    A bit of non-event of a game.

    Tim Smyczek holds to love as Rafael Nadal, who has been looked a little better health-wise after all that deep breathing and head-between-the-knees stuff earlier in the set, saves himself to try and serve out successfully.

  35. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 5-2 Smyczek*

    Rafael Nadal does just enough to keep his nose just ahead. He closes out with a precise serve out wide that Tim Smyczek takes a look and realises is already beyond him.

  36. Nadal breaks

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 4-2 Smyczek

    Which will give out first? Rafa's health or Tim's stamina?

    Nadal did not have to do much to move ahead in the fourth set as Smyczek loses his groundstroke mojo, planting a couple of forehands into the net.

    The Spaniard fires elegantly across court to seal the game though.

    This could get ugly. Closing-time pub-car-park massive-airshot-haymakers ugly as these two battle their bodies and try and stay aggressive.

  37. Post update

    David Law

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    Rafael Nadal

    "You have question marks as to how seriously ill or hurt he is. There's something wrong but how bad is it and what is it? We don't know the answers. Can he bounce back? Even now I still think Nadal can win this match. It's been a strange day, what with Federer being stung by a bee as well as Sharapova's match."

  38. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 3-2 Smyczek*

    A cruisey hold from Rafael Nadal as Tim Smyczek's rather casual slice forehand return floats long.

    He will have to mine some deep reserves of grit to get out of this spot of bother though.

    One Rafa fans in the stands - a lady in her mid-20s - is wearing a particularly glum expression along with supportive facepaint and a headband bearing her hero's name complete with little hearts at the apex of the 'A's.

  39. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Nadal is struggling again. He didn't move to one of those serves. He didn't even attempt to stretch for it."

  40. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 2-2 Smyczek

    Rafael Nadal

    Rafael Nadal may have that trademark lasso forehand, but Tim Smyczek has some weapons of his own.

    Two aces - his 11th and 12th of the match - come along with an increasingly familiar jumping backhand swat and a sublime pick-up winner from the back of the court. He holds to 30 and Nadal is spending long periods between points slumped over and breathing deeply.

    I would get the doctor back on soonish if I were him.

  41. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 2-1 Smyczek*

    Rafael Nadal answers in kind with a hold of his own. He is walking a tightrope now though. One slip and, from what we have seen so far, he can't rely on Tim Smyczek's nerves to open up a route back into the match.

  42. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 1-1 Smyczek

    Tim Smyczek

    Tim Smyczek is deep in the groove though.

    The American holds to love, "Never mind winning, I want it done in four," that seemed to say.

    He is hitting winners from all over the court. What with Kyrgios, Rosol and Darcis in his past, Rafael Nadal does seem to walk into these one-hit wonder ambushes more often than any of the game's other megastars.

    I'm not sure that Novak Djokovic for example gives the likes of Smyzcek a play on the ball in the first place to see if they can get lucky.

  43. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "This is a huge opportunity for Smyczek but it's going to take a huge effort to get over the line. Rafael Nadal will fight, fight and fight and make it so difficult for Smyczek and he will be much more aggressive."

  44. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 1-0 Smyczek*

    Rafael Nadal has been back to the bathroom for a long look in the mirror.

    He looks a lot better for it and romps into a 40-0 lead. His forehand seems to have regained some zip - he works over Smyczek off that wing to seal the game.

  45. Smyczek wins third set

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) Smyczek

    Rafael Nadal holds for 4-2, but a deep return from Smyzcek has Nadal in trouble in the next and another mighty forehand whack gives the American a double mini-break and 5-2. He holds for 6-2.

    Pressure now with set points aplenty.

    Boom! Ace spits down the middle and this upset is more than brewing. It is almost ready for drinking.

  46. Tie-break

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-6 (1-4) Smyczek

    Tim Smyczek takes the mini-break for a 2-0 lead as he races in to take on the volley and cut down Nadal's time. Rafa's pick-up half volley creeps long. Nadal holds his serve second time around, but is left as a spectator by Smyczek's rifled back hand. The American is 3-1 to the good and will receive serve at 4-1 to the good as a Nadal pass flies wide.

  47. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Nadal is such a fighter. He is clearly feeling unwell but is going deep within himself to fight. That was a good hold."

  48. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-6 Smyczek*

    Tim Smyczek is certainly playing well - one back-to-the-net trick shot return as he chases back for a lob is particularly cheeky.

    But this is Rafael Nadal with the handbrake on and a parachute out the back.

    The Spaniard has done enough to take the underdog into a tie-break.

  49. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 5-6 Smyczek

    As he climbs towards would be the highest peak in his career so far, Tim Smyczek still not looking down. Not a hint of vertigo as he serves out in assured style.

    Rafael Nadal is still looking like he wants a sicknote handed down from Uncle Toni and to come back tomorrow.

    Seventy minutes on the clock for the third set. The first two weighed in at a combined total of 71 minutes.

  50. Smyczek breaks

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 5-5 Smyczek*

    Tim Smyczek is firing on all cylinders.

    A searing passing shot brings the crowd to the feet and sends the scoreboard ticking on to 0-30.

    A lovely tickle of a backhand dropper is beyond the reach of Nadal and sets up two break points.

    And Nadal hands over the first with a double fault.

    This is still on.

  51. Post update

    Rafael Nadal and a ballboy

    As he collects balls and prepares to serve for the set, Rafael Nadal suddenly looks a little peaky.

    A couple of deep swallows from the Spaniard before he heads to the back of the court and ejects some fluid from his mouth.

    He is not the full ticket certainly...

  52. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 5-4 Smyczek

    A big service game did I say?

    Well, Tim Smyczek brings his A-grade arsenal to the party, peppering the Nadal service box with laser-guided missiles.

    A sublime backhand winner strafes an advancing Nadal when the rally gets beyond the opening shot.

    A hold to love.

  53. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 5-3 Smyczek*

    Tim Smyczek

    A sitdown and a mental reboot for Tim Smyczek at the changeover. That seems to have sorted out the gremlins in the American's game. A fizzing inside-out forehand moves him 0-30 up.

    He whips away down the same wing for 15-40 and three break points.

    What have you got Rafa?

    Enough it turns out. The Spaniard adds a little spice to his serve to whittle away the first break point and then comes rushing to the net to shut down the angles and close the door on the second.

    A crunching ace closes the game. Nadal snarls up to Uncle Toni in the players' box and he gets a nod in response.

    A big service game coming up for Mr Smyczek.

  54. Nadal breaks

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 4-3 Smyczek

    Vamos!

    Rafael Nadal uppercuts thin air as he hammers away a backhand volley to move to break point from advantage.

    Tim Smyczek still has a bit of punch left though. He climbs into a high forehand to swat away an irrecoverable winner.

    A similar stroke saves a second break point, but errors are starting to crop up like weeds in Smyczek's game.

    He is taking a little longer to sort out his footwork, his groundstrokes are lacking a little length and the third break point is the charm for Nadal.

  55. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 3-3 Smyczek*

    Rafael Nadal

    One hundred and nine ranking places between them, but not much more than a cigarette paper difference on court where it matters.

    This doing a very good impression of the first set of a match between two of the top guys rather then the third set of Nadal v a qualifier.

    Both players serves coming under pressure, but surviving. Nadal holds to 30 and it feels like we have the tipping point of the match.

  56. Post update

    Alison Mitchell

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "I just wonder if Nadal calling for the doctor and the delay in play has halted some of Smyczek's momentum?"

  57. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 2-3 Smyczek

    Rafael Nadal

    Is this the tide turning?

    Tim Smyczek has been the man making things happen for the last set of so, but finds himself break point down.

    Re-check the shipping forecast.

    The American has held up well under pressure and after mistakes so far and cleans the mental slate to win the next two points.

  58. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 2-2 Smyczek*

    Rafael Nadal of Spain shakes his head

    Nothing settles the stomach better than a solid hold of serve.

    Rafael Nadal certainly looks no worse after the medical timeout as he retains his serve with Tim Smyzcek leaving just one point's worth of damage.

  59. Get involved

    #bbctennis

    Marc McPherson: Take Nadal out of the mix early on, and we're in for a very interesting grand slam...

  60. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It doesn't look like Nadal has a physical injury. It's the doctor on court rather than the physio. It must be some kind of illness.

    "There's something not quite right about him and it'll be interesting to see how Smyczek responds and whether he can use to that to his advantage and make Nadal work hard for his points and and make him run as much as he can."

  61. Doctor on court

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 1-2 Smyczek

    Rafael Nadal and a doctor

    Now then.

    Rafael Nadal calls for the doctor. It looks like it is illness rather than injury that is upsetting him.

    He loops a cool towel around his shoulders and necks a couple of painkillers. Will that do the trick?

    The umpire calls time to get the players off their chairs and back on court.

  62. Nadal breaks

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 1-2 Smyczek

    Rafael Nadal is having to get inventive.

    The Spaniard slices a forehand into midcourt - inviting Tim Smyczek to generate his own pace rather than just work with what is fired at him.

    It discombobulates the American. Into the net and 30-30.

    Three games to love looks a lot different from 2-1 in the third set.

    Maybe that thought is rumbling around Smyczek's mind as he waits for a ball to drop out of the heavens. His attempted smash is well wide and Nadal has break point at 30-40.

    Smyczek's attempted pass is snagged on the wire on the next point, but Nadal, up at the net, is close enough to react. He pats away a winner and is back on serve.

  63. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Smyczek looks confident now. He showed wonderful anticipation to read Nadal's shot on break point and he executed his winning pass really well. He has momentum now."

  64. Smyczek breaks

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 0-2 Smyczek*

    Rafael Nadal

    If he didn't before, Rafael Nadal now knows he is in a right old scrap.

    Fifteen-thirty down, he maxes out his second serve, chases in behind to make the volley and pumps his fist in celebration.

    But Tim Smyczek pops up a racquet head to frying-pan back a Nadal smash at deuce and then leaps into a cross-court backhand to bring up a break point.

    Nadal misses with his first serve. Into a rally. Nadal comes into the net. Smyczek whips a pass. Down it dips and in!

  65. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-6 0-1 Smyczek

    A double fault from Tim Smyczek - his first of the match - gives Rafael Nadal a chance to work something up from deuce.

    Smyczek suddenly struggling to land his first serve and Nadal murders his second with a crashed return to get to advantage and a break point.

    But Tim Smyczek gets his ducks back in a row. A double-fisted backhand thump, pure power and forget about angles, streaks up the centre of the court to hurry Nadal out of the next point.

    More tidy play from the baseline makes good his escape.

  66. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 Smyczek

    A bit of a bathroom break for Rafael Nadal. It is a lengthy one as well.

    Maybe he is checking to see if he left his groundstrokes back in the locker somewhere.

    Tim Smyczek has taken the chance to break out a fresh shirt. He has made an attempt to join the fluro trend as well. Maybe a little off target though. Lime green rather than car-park-attendant-tabard green.

  67. Post update

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "You can tell something is brewing when the media seats suddenly fill up. The crowd on Rod Laver Arena is chuntering away at the changeover, pondering whether we could be about to see an almighty upset. Nadal certainly looked less and less comfortable in that set, shaking his head and firing a few words to uncle Toni and co at one point. He lost from a set up against the unheralded Michael Berrer earlier this month and he looks fragile again."

  68. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It will be very difficult for Smyczek to maintain that standard and you would expect Rafael to raise his game. But to be fair to Smyczek he came out much more aggressively in that set and even came into the net a few more times.

    "Rafael's level dipped and it'll be interesting to see how he reacts because he's not had a lot of matches recently."

  69. Smyczek wins second set

    Nadal 6-2 3-6 Smyczek*

    Well, well, well.

    Tim Smyczek whips a sizzling forehand down the line to seal the break to love and the set.

    An interesting side note to a Rafael Nadal win or the start of one of those seismic shocks that seem to erupt under Nadal with increasingly regularity?

    Only time will tell.

  70. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-5 Smyczek

    Tim Smyczek, something of the star high-school quarterback about him, plays the first four points like he is back home in Florida, teaching a junior hitting partner a lesson.

    Aggressive first serves help him to the first two points before a lovely running winner bump the scoreline along to 40-15.

    Rafael Nadal haggles his way to deuce, but Smyczek is getting the upper hand in rallies from deep.

    The Spaniard has come off the boil just as Smyczek is getting hot.

  71. Smyczek breaks

    Nadal 6-2 3-4 Smyczek*

    Rafael Nadal is in a spot of bother. A ballooned forehand from the Spaniard gives Tim Smyczek 0-40 and three break points.

    And the American does not need to play another shot!

    Rafael Nadal dumps an ugly second serve halfway up the net. He trudges to his chair to reflect on an eyesore of a game.

    Tim Smyczek is two holds away from the second set.

  72. Game, set and match

    Bouchard blows Bertens away

    Eugenie Bouchard

    Eugenie Bouchard is through to the third round with a comprehensive win. The Canadian, runner-up at Wimbledon last year, completes her victory over Kiki Bertens, winning 6-0 6-3 in 54 minutes, and celebrates with a selfie or two.

  73. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 3-3 Smyczek

    Tim Smyczek is holding his end up. The American delivers his fourth ace of the match - Nadal yet to register - on his way to 40-0.

    Nadal nibbles a point back, but isn't getting any more.

    This set could be about to get interesting...

  74. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 3-2 Smyczek*

    Rafael Nadal

    Is this Rafael Nadal getting the engine really chugging?

    He lobs a love service game on the furnace, dominating Tim Smyczek from the back with the ball obeying his thrashing racquet's every whim.

  75. Post update

    *Nadal 6-2 2-2 Smyczek

    A chance for Rafael Nadal to put the thumbscrews on the Tim Smyczek serve, but it goes begging.

    The Spaniard did everything right at 40-30 down, working his man into the back corner and coming forward to attack Smyczek's blocked backhand.

    But his volley is just a little too deft for its own good, glancing off his strings and wide.

    Smyczek off the hook and still on serve.

  76. Post update

    Nadal 6-2 2-1 Smyczek*

    Tim Smyczek

    Plucky straight-sets loser or something a little more interesting?

    Time for Tim Smyzcek to start sorting where he is going to finish up after this match.

    He might not be a Nick Kyrgios or Lukas Rosol but there might be a set to steal for him here.

    Rafael Nadal holds his serve, but lost two points en route and the American is close to matching him.

  77. Game, set and match

    Kyrgios knocks out Karlovic

    Nick Kyrgios

    The Fanatics are going crazy out on court three because Nick Kyrgios, the big hope of Australian tennis, has seen off 23rd seed Ivo Karlovic in four sets.

    The 19-year-old, playing his last Grand Slam as a teenager, won 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 5-7 6-4 to reach the third round for the first time.

    Latest men's scores and women's scores

  78. Nadal breaks

    *Nadal 6-2 1-1 Smyczek

    Rafael Nadal

    Lovely stuff from Tim Smyczek. A sound like a bagful of mice as he chases down Rafael Nadal's midcourt pat amid a series of sneaker squeaks and finds an angle for 30-30.

    The American is expending oil fields of energy though to stay with Rafa in this game though. His points are coming at a sky-high price, while Nadal is able to hoover up some bargains from his tired opponent.

    Eventually the exchange rate does for Smyzcek though. Nadal back level.

  79. Smyczek breaks

    Nadal 6-2 0-1 Smyczek*

    Rafael Nadal is trying to hug the baseline, but maybe he should have given up some territory there.

    The Spaniard gets all cramped up on the backhand side and plonks his groundstroke into the net to give Tim Smyczek 30-40 and a break point.

    Nadal gives himself the usual inter-point towel down but maybe there was a little grease left on his grip.

    Either way a miserable double fault hands over the early advantage to the American.

  80. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Smyczek is going to have to take a few more risks than usual. That will be a bit alien to him but he has to do that to get deep into a set and stretch Nadal."

  81. Nadal wins first set

    *Nadal 6-2 Smyczek

    Three break points. Not just any break points either. Set and break points.

    With a cushion to work with Rafael Nadal takes a jaunt to the net on the first. He has not applied enough pressure to Tim Smyczek to make that work though.

    The American had all the time he wanted to slide away a winner with Nadal looking he was in a recurring nightmare - horribly exposed bang in the middle of the net and unable to cut off the acres of court behind him.

    Back to the old familiar on the next. And that does the trick. A skidding forehand out wide and even Smyczek has not got the wheels to get there.

  82. Latest scores

    Eugenie Bouchard

    Meanwhile, over on the Margaret Court Arena seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard has taken just 23 minutes to take the first set 6-0 against Netherlands' Kiki Bertens.

    Latest men's scores and women's scores

  83. Post update

    Nadal 5-2 Smyczek*

    Forty-fifteen up and Rafael Nadal runs around a forehand out wide to try and lassoo a forehand winner down the line.

    It is a pose we have seen many times before, but the Spaniard's aim is well off, planting between the tramlines. Nadal looks a little miffed - like he has burned rice to the bottom of his favourite pan.

    That is better. Nadal works over Tim Smyczek in the next rally and slaps away a bounce smash from midcourt to win the game.

  84. Post update

    *Nadal 4-2 Smyczek

    Tim Smyczek keeps his serve locked up tight and tidy.

    He has been impressive so far, but needs a little more than that though now to rescue the first set from the clutches of Rafael Nadal.

  85. Post update

    David Law

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "It's great to see Rafael Nadal back on the court. He has put his body through such strain there were fears last year about how much longer he might be able to do that. There are all these young players pushing the great champions of the sport and it's a great time for the sport. Let's hope Nadal can have a really good 2015."

  86. Post update

    Nadal 4-1 Smyczek*

    Rafael Nadal compounds his break with a solid hold. Tim Smyczek might be slipping under the cosh here.

    I had been rather ambivalent on the 'short shorts questions'. They looked pretty similar to standard kit in the first five games.

    There is a 'but' coming here. Nadal has just fetched a towel out of his racquetbag as the players changed ends. And the bloodflow to his nether regions dropped to dangerous levels.

  87. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "The differences between the two players is obvious. Rafael Nadal is so muscular and powerful while Smyczek is wiry and able to chase down balls and defend, but the power of Nadal is really impressive."

  88. Nadal breaks

    *Nadal 3-1 Smyczek

    Tim Smyczek finds himself backed into a corner at 0-40, but comes out battling, advancing to see off the threat with a forehand pummel.

    Smyczek can go toe-to-toe with Nadal for the baseline. The American is a game chaser and covers off a series of angles on the next point, but eventually Nadal runs the legs off him.

    A few too many revs on the ball, a millilitre too much lactic in the American's legs and the break is Nadal's.

  89. Post update

    Leon Smith

    GB Davis Cup captain on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "I've seen quite a lot of Smyczek and he works extremely hard and would probably say his movement is his best asset. We should see some long rallies, but Nadal's strength should make the difference in the end."

  90. Post update

    Nadal 2-1 Smyczek*

    Rafael Nadal fans

    More promising moments from Tim Smyczek as he gets the better of a forehand exchange but Rafael Nadal closes down the game for the loss of just the one point.

    There are plenty of bits of kit adorned with Rafael Nadal's bull's head logo among the crowd.

    After Andy Murray unveiled his own little symbol and, of course, Roger's ubiquitous little monogram, who is winning the brand war? And what should Novak Djokovic base his coat of arms around?

    Give us a shout on #bbctennis or 81111 on text with any ideas.

  91. Post update

    *Nadal 1-1 Smyczek

    Rafael Nadal

    While Rafael Nadal is dressed like a Klaxons crowd member - a clash of fluorescent yellow and pink around straggly hair - Tim Smyczek is all business.

    The American is channelling some 80s Edberg vibes is a white shirt with a faint grey graphic.

    Not a lot of frills to his game either. He opens with an ace and closes with a crashing off forehand winner as he holds to love.

    Impressive.

  92. Post update

    Nadal 1-0 Smyczek*

    The Rod Laver Arena is a little light on numbers despite the presence of the sweaty Spanish legend.

    That has everything to do with the Aussie men producing their strongest showing for years in the early rounds.

    Elsewhere Thanasi Kokkinakis is a set up on fellow Australian Sam Groth and Nick Krygios is level with 23rd seed Ivo Karlovic.

    It will be getting rowdy on the outside courts.

    Nadal wraps up the opening game as Tim Smyczek pumps long with a forehand after getting a baseline runaround.

  93. Post update

    Nadal 0-0 Smyczek

    Right, Rafael Nadal gives Tim Smyczek a sight of the fresh fuzz and is going to tee us off.

    Here we go.

  94. Get involved

    #bbctennis or 81111 on text

    Short lengths and groundstroke depths - whatever takes your fancy today is fair game for discussion on the live text.

    #bbctennis and 81111 on text is the way to kick off the discussion.

  95. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra are bringing us live audio commentary of today's match. The discussion on the length of Rafael Nadal's short, mid-thigh for those interested, is over.

    But ball-by-ball of this match and Simona Halep's meeting with Jarmila Gajdosova is coming right up.

  96. Post update

    Rafael Nadal

    Since being knocked out of Wimbledon last year by the big-hitting Nick Krygios, Rafael Nadal has played just nine times.

    Among those to have beaten him in that time are Martin Klizan, Borna Coric and Michael Berrer.

    He has been short of the top drawer in short.

    A qualifier in the form of his life is probably not what he wants to see looming on the other side of the net. That is what he has got though

    The Spaniard faces American Tim Smyczek for a place in the third round.