4/4 © Reuters. Australian Open 2/4
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Second seed Rafa Nadal overcame a tough opening resistance from Britain’s Cameron Norrie before advancing to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 7-5, 6-2, 7-5 victory on Saturday. After being interrupted by a loud fan in his previous round, Nadal enjoyed an uneventful night in an empty Rod Laver Arena to reach the knockout stage at a Grand Slam for the 49th time in his career. Nadal, 34, who aspires to claim a record 21 Grand Slam title, will next face Italy’s Fabio Fognini. Nadal won the first six points of the match, but Norrie was undeterred in his first encounter with the Spaniard and claimed the first break of the match to lead 3-2. However, he was immediately broken and retired 5-6 to drop serve again and give Nadal the first set in 48 minutes. From then on, it was a routine day at the office for Nadal, who dominated without needing to find top gear, showing no signs of the back injury that haunted him in warm-up.