20 Jan 2012

Nadal wins third round match

5:12 pm on 20 January 2012

Rafa Nadal sent the last qualifier spinning out of the Australian Open with a comfortable straight sets 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.

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 the Spaniard is struggling.

He'll next play either compatriot Feliciano Lopez or American John Isner.

Meanwhile women's third seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat Mona Barthel of germany in straight sets in her third round match.