Nadal clicks into top gear, brushes
aside Carreno Busta
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[January 25, 2020]
By Rozanna Latiff
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal
delivered his best performance of the week as the Spaniard
dismantled compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-2 6-4 to advance to
the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday.
The top seed was in ominous form on Rod Laver Arena, facing no break
points and striking 42 winners to just seven unforced errors in his
fifth straight win over 30th-ranked Carreno Busta.
The victory also extended Nadal's 17-match winning streak over
Spanish players, having not been beaten by a fellow countryman since
losing to Fernando Verdasco at Melbourne Park in 2016.
"It was my best match of the tournament so far, without a doubt,"
Nadal told reporters.
"I have been serving well, starting to create damage with the
forehand. Hitting serve on one shot, I think."
Carreno Busta never looked like threatening the Nadal serve, winning
just 10 points on his returns in the 98-minute encounter.
Nadal, bidding for a record-equaling 20th Grand Slam trophy, claimed
victory when Carreno Busta sent a backhand into the net, setting up
a meeting with either Australian Nick Kyrgios or Russian 16th seed
Karen Khachanov for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Kyrgios, no stranger to controversy, sparked headlines when he
mocked Nadal by imitating the Spaniard's pre-service routine after
being hit with a time violation during his second round match on
[to top of second column]
Rafa Nadal of Spain hits a return to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during
the men's singles final match at the China Open Tennis Tournament in
Beijing, China, October 11, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Nadal, who had earlier brushed aside the incident, said he preferred
Kyrgios more when he was playing his fiery brand of tennis instead
of drawing attention for his on-court antics.
"When he plays good tennis and he shows passion for this game, he is
a positive player for our tour and I want my tour bigger, not
smaller," he said.
"When he's ready to play his best tennis and play with passion, (he)
is one of these guys. When he's doing the other stuff, of course I
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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