MELBOURNE, Australia -- Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray were straight-set winners Thursday as the second round of the 2011 Australian Open came to a close.
Nadal, the top seed and world No. 1, blasted American Ryan Sweeting, 6-2, 6-1, 6-1, in just an hour and 42 minutes, while the fifth-seeded Murray made short work of the Ukraine's Illya Marchenko, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.
Other seeded winners on Thursday were Robin Soderling, David Ferrer and Mikhail Youzhny.
Nadal was dominant in his match, swatting seven aces to go along with eight service breaks.
"I feel good. Today the serve started to work much better," Nadal said. "Only one [bad] moment, when the sun came in my eyes. It was a positive victory for me, an important victory."
The 24-year-old Spaniard won the 2009 Aussie Open title and is the reigning champ at the other three Grand Slam events. A win in Melbourne this year would make him the first man in 42 years to claim four consecutive Grand Slam titles. Aussie legend Rod Laver won all four majors, for a true Grand Slam, way back in 1969. Laver also captured all four Slams in the same year in 1962.
Up next for Nadal is Australian teenager Bernard Tomic, who advanced with a straight-set win over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
"He's playing well," Nadal said of Tomic. "[It is] going to be really difficult in the third round of a Grand Slam. No one opponent can be easy. I have to play well if I want to win."
Tomic, ranked 199th in the world, is appearing in his third Australian Open and is the last man from the host nation still alive. He reached the second round of this championship each of the last two years and knows he has an extremely difficult task ahead of him.
"I'm not going to go and win this match if I go out there and play not to lose," Tomic said. "I've got to play to win. I believe [I can]. He's the world No. 1. I'll just have a go."
Nadal has won his last 23 Grand Slam matches, last tasting defeat in a major at the quarterfinals of the 2010 Australian Open when he retired against Murray.
As for Murray, this year's fifth seed and last year's runner-up to Roger Federer, he needed a mere 29 minutes to win the first set against Marchenko and lost his serve just once during the match.
"I played well," said Murray. "A lot of the close games, a lot of 30-all games, deuce games, and I served well when I needed to really. That was the difference."
Murray will next take on Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the third round.
The fourth-seeded Soderling posted a 6-3, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 win Thursday for his second consecutive straight-set win. The two-time French Open runner-up is through to the third round of the Australian Open for the first time six visits.
"It's good that I didn't spend five hours on the court," said Soderling. "Instead, you know, I played two matches and both went to three sets, straight-set matches. I played very good, so I'm not feeling tired at all, which is very good now coming into the third round."
Soderling next takes on Czech Jan Hernych, who needed five sets to advance past Brazil's Tomaz Bellucci.
The seventh-seeded Ferrer also cruised into round three with a 6-0, 6-1, 7-5 victory over American Michael Russell and will face Lithuania's Richard Berankis, who held a comfortable 6-1, 6-0, 2-0 cushion against David Nalbandian when the Argentine star retired because of injury and exhaustion.
Nalbandian was coming off a five-set first-round victory over Aussie veteran Lleyton Hewitt and said he could not continue.
"I toss a ball for the serve and everything was moving around," Nalbandian noted. "It's tough playing like that. Call the doctor. Told me that dangerous playing like that. That's why I retired."
The 10th-seeded Youzhny nearly blew a two-set lead and finally finished off Slovenian qualifier Blaz Kavcic, 6-3, 6-1, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1. He'll next play Canadian qualifier Milos Raonic, who took out Frenchman Michael Llodra in straight sets.
Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 Aussie runner-up and a semifinalist last year, is back in the third round after a straight-set win over Italy's Andreas Seppi. Next up for the 13th seed will be Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine.
Austrian veteran Jurgen Melzer advanced in straight sets over Spain's Pere Riba and will next meet Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus. Baghdatis, the 2006 Melbourne runner-up, ended Juan Martin del Potro's first Grand Slam since last year's Aussie Open with a four-set win in the night match at Laver Arena. Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champ, missed most of the 2010 campaign recovering from wrist surgery.
American John Isner and Croatia's Marin Cilic were the other winners Thursday and will square off in round three. Isner came back from a set down to beat Czech veteran Radek Stepanek, while Cilic rolled past Colombia's Santiago Giraldo in three.
The third round opens on Friday with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick among those scheduled for action. Federer, the defending champ and a four-time winner at Melbourne Park, needed five sets to beat France's Gilles Simon in round two and will next meet Belgium's Xavier Malisse. Djokovic, the 2008 champ, will take on fellow Serb Viktor Troicki, while Roddick is slated to face Robin Haase of the Netherlands.