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Australian Open: Nadal breezes past Dzumhur in Melbourne

TENNIS

Australian Open: Nadal breezes past Dzumhur in Melbourne

Australian Open: Nadal breezes past Dzumhur in Melbourne

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Another straight-sets win for Rafa Nadal, who faces Diego Schwartzman in the next round, does not bode well for his Australian Open rivals.

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

Nadal still to lose a set at the Australian Open

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 at Melbourne Park, and the 2009 champion comfortably dealt with anything Dzumhur had to throw at him.

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 point to 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 world number 30 appeared to be growing in confidence and he came close to giving Nadal a taste of his own medicine at the beginning of the third.

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.

Nadal sews up victory with an ace

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

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