Nadal coasts into second week of Australian Open

Bill Scott, DPA on

Published in Tennis

MELBOURNE -- Rafael Nadal benefitted from the cooling down of a stifling two-day heatwave that drove temperatures from 104 degrees down to a tolerable 82 as he advanced into the second week of the Australian Open on Friday.

The top seed and former tournament winner produced a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory against Damir Dzumhur. The win put Nadal, 31, into the Melbourne fourth round for an 11th time.

Nadal next faces Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.

"There have been very, very tough conditions yesterday and today," Nadal said. "Sometimes (it) is too much and can become little bit dangerous for health.

"But there is one positive thing: no humidity. It was dry -- that makes a big difference."

Third seed Grigor Dimitrov rewarded himself with a post-victory ice bath after advancing 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 over Russian Andrey Rublev.

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The Bulgarian winner of the 2017 year-ending championships came to Melbourne off a Brisbane semifinal, and he beat a pair of qualifiers in the first two rounds before facing a tougher test against Rublev.

"Today was another tough test for me," Dimitrov said. "I just had to find a way again, simple as that. At least the game was a little bit better than the previous match.

"It was warm. The conditions really suited me. I was happy that everything went my way."

Dimitrov won his 19th match in Melbourne, the most for a Bulgarian at the event.


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