Nadal eases into last-16 for 11th time

Lynette Rowe
January 21, 2018

Nadal's blemish-free week was never under threat against world number 30 Dzumhur, who showed some fight in the second set but was no match for his opponent. "After a while without being on the competition ... second victory in a row, that's very important".

Her biggest rival from the bottom half of the draw, Elina Svitolina, closes centre court against unseeded rival Denisa Allertova.

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.

French veteran Julien Benneteau recovered from a flat start to beat seventh seed David Goffin 1-6 7-6 (5) 6-1 7-6 (4) in the second round.

"I knew it was going to be an incredibly tough match". "He was a unsafe opponent and I'm happy to be in the third round".

"I felt the pain but I didn't think about it", said Halep said. "So, it's of course a great memory for me", she added. "I was kind of lucky".

He had sarcastically called Thursday's three-set first-round doubles win as "hours in 50 degrees. really good management" as he lost the plot.

The squall passed quickly, though, and he knuckled down to take Kyrgios into a third tiebreak, storming to a 5-2 lead after another charge to the net. "I got it for free". The Serbian player walked, smiling, to the umpire's chair to apologize, while Keothavong joked: "It's not my day, is it?"

Marta Kostyuk came from the other angle.

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Elsewhere, sixth seed Marin Cilic eased past Joao Sousa with a 6-1 7-5 6-2 victory to keep a meeting with Nadal in the quarter-finals a distinct possibility, while Gilles Muller beat Malek Jaziri in a tense five-setter. He's a player that last year had an wonderful year, and this year has started again playing so well.

It sets her up with a clash against 19th-seeded Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova.

Belinda Bencic had a letdown two days after upsetting Venus Williams, losing 6-1, 6-3 to Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum.

Kyrgios is ranked in the sport's top three, behind only Roger Federer and Alexandr Dolgopolov, for winning them.

"I was very, very focused", Nadal said after the match.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will face Bosnian 28th seed Damir Dzumhur Friday in the third round of the 2018 Australian Open.

It was also a change of scenery for Nadal, who was playing on Margaret Court Arena - the No. 2 venue at Melbourne Park - while local hope Nick Kyrgios beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a night match on the main court.

Andreas Seppi overcame Ivo Karlovic and the Croatian's 52 aces to advance to the fourth round with a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-7 (5), 9-7 win that spanned 3 hours, 51 minutes.

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