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Rafael Nadal: 'I need to play more aggressive'

Rafael Nadal says his Australian Open bid rests on his aggressive game plan.

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Rafael Nadal said taking the game on will be key in his bid for a second Australian Open title.

The third seed thrashed Dudi Sela for two sets on Friday, before eventually posting a 6-1 6-0 7-5 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

The Melbourne Park major is the only one of the four grand slams that Nadal has not won on multiple occasions.

A rampaging Stanislas Wawrinka and an ailing back halted him in the 2014 final, but Nadal said he must keep up his aggressive ways - he hit 43 winners in three sets against Sela, and he has the most breaks of serve this tournament with 20.

Nadal was pushed to five sets in round two by qualifier Tim Smyczek, but he added the benefits of the struggle will be all his.

"When you are on the confidence, you feel that the shots come without thinking," Nadal said. "When you are little bit on that process, all the shots are important for you.

"When you are making good shots, [it can] always surprise you a little bit.

"But [it] is true that for two sets I was able to adjust very well the balls, playing some very good forehands down the line.

"If I want to have chances to keep being competitive in this tournament, I need to play this way.

"I need to play more aggressive. I need to play with that determination.

"I really hope the suffer of the other night [against Smyczek] and then the way that I played today is going to help me for the next round."

Nadal was under some pressure in the third set against Sela, who is ranked outside the top 100.

But the Mallorcan was pleased his serve set him up to defy break points in the first, seventh and 11th games of what turned out to be the final set.

"My serve worked well on the break points," the 14-time major winner said.

"I had one lucky break, that was at the net, with my forehand. But the rest of the points I played with determination, going to the net, having some good serves.

"The last game, I am happy the way that I lost the first match point trying to go for the winner with my forehand.

"Even if I had the mistake, I think it was the right thing to do in that moment. [I was] happy to be able to take that position in that moment. With 6-5, [it's] never easy.

"Then with the next point I was able to finish with the forehand, no?

"I play with the right determination in the right moments. That gives me confidence and a way to play for the future."

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