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Improving Nadal outclassses Wawrinka

Nadal registers his most impressive performance as he put the 31st-seeded Swiss to the sword after a muscular powerplay.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2007 15:48 IST

Second seed Rafael Nadal booked his place in the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Stanislas Wawrinka on Saturday, and then said his form was improving as the tournament went on.

Nadal registered his most impressive performance to date as he put the 31st-seeded Swiss to the sword after two hours and three minutes of muscular powerplay on Rod Laver Arena.

Wawrinka, 21 and a former French Open junior champion, competed as well as he was allowed by the 20-year-old Mallorcan, but seven breaks of serve told the full story of Nadal's growing confidence in his game and physical wellbeing.

He came into the event with a cloud over his fitness after withdrawing from the Sydney tune-up event with a groin twinge, but he now looks on course to book a dream final match-up against champion Roger Federer.

"I played my best today for sure," said Nadal after equalling his previous best Australian Open performance.

"I feel very comfortable with my forehand, with my serve, with my backhand too. Today I played a very complete match.

"I am very happy because if I keep playing like this, I have a chance for a win."

He next plays the winner of the third-round clash between Britain's 15th seed Andy Murray and Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela.

"We will see. If it is Murray, it is going to be very difficult match. If it's Chela, too. Murray's improving his game. He's very young. Just one less (year younger) than me. He started the season well in Doha playing the final. We will see."

First Published: Jan 20, 2007 15:48 IST