Rafael Nadal cruises into Australian Open 4th round with win over Damir Dzumhur

Rafael Nadal dropped just five games in storming to a straight sets win over Damir Dzumhur to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open on Friday.

tennis Updated: Jan 19, 2018 16:42 IST
Rafael Nadal,Australian Open,Damir Dzumhur
Rafael Nadal reacts after winning his Australian Open match against Damir Dzumhur on Friday.(AFP)

Rafael Nadal maintained his perfect record at this year’s Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1victory over Damir Dzumhur.

The world number one is yet to drop a set in Melbourne and proved too good for Dzumhur on Margaret Court Arena, booking a fourth-round clash with Diego Schwartzman.

Dzumhur won the only previous meeting between these players after Nadal was forced to retire with dizziness amid soaring temperatures at the 2016 Miami Open.

But an evening start for their latest clash limited the impact of another hot day atMelbourne Park, and the 2009 champion comfortablydealt with anything Dzumhur had to throw at him.

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Nadal took only 22 minutes to win the first set, and it would have been even quicker had Dzumhur not saved a break and set pointto claim his only game of the opener.

Dzumhur showed more fight in the second and, despite going 2-0 down, he got back on terms with a break in the fourth game, only to lose another on his own serve in the next.

But the Bosnian appeared to be growing in confidence andhe came close to givingNadal a taste of his own medicine at the beginning of the third.

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Having been broken in the opening game of the first two sets, Dzumhur pushed Nadal all the way, the Spaniard needing five attempts to secure the winning point.

Dzumhur’s inability to snatch that game appeared to break his resolve somewhat, having also applied maximum effort with no reward in the previous set.

A break of serve in the next putNadal well on the path to victory, which was ultimately sealed with an ace on his third match point.

First Published: Jan 19, 2018 16:31 IST