Reuters: Rafa Nadal sent the last qualifier spinning out of the Australian Open on Friday with a comfortable 6-2 6-4 6-2 win over Slovakian Lukas Lacko.
Nadal could not have asked for smoother passage into the fourth round, wrapping up victory in an hour and 55 minutes in overcast conditions at Rod Laver Arena and conserving valuable energy for the wars of attrition to come in later rounds.
Both players lost their opening service games in an untidy start to the match but Nadal was quick to settle into his stride, taking advantage of Lacko’s uncertain first serve and overpowering the Slovakian with a booming backhand.
World number two Nadal, the 2009 champion, came into the first grand slam of the year with knee and shoulder problems but there was little to suggest on Friday the Spaniard is struggling.
He wrapped up the match with another dominating service game to set up a fourth round clash with compatriot Feliciano Lopez or American John Isner.