Australian Open Yet to drop a set
Rafa Nadal has waltzed his way into the second week at the Australian Open after his triumph over Cameron Norrie makes it two rounds without a set dropped.
Nadal beat Norrie 7-5, 6-2, 7-5 and is one of five male players with a perfect record so far, along with Grigor Dmitrov, Aslan Karatsev, Felix Auger-Alliasine and Andrey Rublev.
The 34-year-old from Mallorca was experiencing his first match without fans after confinement returned to Melbourne following a new outbreak of the new British variant of COVID-19.
It was also in this match that he found himself behind in a set for the first time in the tournament having been broken, with Norrie serving and up 3-2 in the first.
A born fighter, Norrie made Nadal work harder than in the first two rounds, as could be seen in the faster average pace of his serves.
Gradually the intensity of Norrie’s long matches in the previous rounds began to take their toll and he ultimately couldn’t keep pace with the Spaniard.
Next up for Nadal is Fabio Fognini, the 16th seed, an old foe who has gotten the better of him before.
The Italian swept aside his third round opponent Alex de Minaur off the back of an epic five-setter in the round before against compatriot Salvatore Caruso.