Rafael Nadal
6 6 6

Victor Estrella Burgos
1 1 1

Tennis

ByTheMinTennis

Hello and welcome! The Australian Open is back. And so is Rafa Nadal.

Players are on court warming up. Rafa is in throwback mode with bright pink shorts and a sleeveless shirt today. Estrella Burgos is in blue, mostly.

The world number one was a surprise runner up last year, but enters this year's event with some doubts about his fitness. This is his first competitive match of the year, but I doubt it'll pose him any problems.

So who is Victor Estrella Burgos? I'm glad you asked. The Dominican world number 79 is one of the oldest players left on tour at the grand old age of 37. Despite this, all of his three singles titles have come in the last three years. He's the three time defending champion at the 250 event in Ecuador, on the clay.

He's also only reached the third round of a major tournament once in his long career. Nadal should have no trouble today, dodgy knees or no. The Spaniard will serve first...

Quick as you like hold from Nadal to open up. He seems to be in good shape.

Ominous signs for Burgos already as Nadal moves to 15-30 on the Dominican's serve, and some nice trademark looping forehands force and error to bring up two break points...

The first is saved with an ace, but Burgos goes long on the second and casts the ball a rueful look. Nadal has the break!

An ace from Rafa to start the game, but he goes into the net with a forehand and it's 15-all. It doesn't slow him down much though, and he holds easily to 15. Halfway to the first set without breaking a sweat.

As far as I can tell, there are only six players older than Burgos with a ranking. And just one other in the top 200. He really is a veteran. Prize for anyone who can name any of the older players!