Ruthless Nadal continues Miami rampage

Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:13pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal continued his ruthless rampage through the Sony Open on Monday, crushing Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-1 6-0 to reach the fourth round at Crandon Park.

Also through to the next round is Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, who looked sharp in a no-nonsense 7-5 6-4 win over Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Nadal, who has reached the final three times but never lifted the Miami title, blew past Lleyton Hewitt in the second round before overwhelming Istomin in less than an hour in a center court master class.

Next up for the Spaniard is a fourth round meeting on Tuesday with Italian 14th seed Fabio Fognini, who advanced with a 4-6 6-3 6-3 comeback win over Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.

Further down the road is a possible semi-final meeting with third seed Wawrinka, who beat the Spaniard in the final of the Australian Open to claim his first grand slam title.

Nadal has shown no signs of losing focus, however, and broke Istomin twice to open the match and grab a 4-0 lead.

The 57th ranked Istomin finally held serve at 4-1 but that would be the only time as Nadal thundered through the next eight game to complete the rout.

"I played a very complete match," said Nadal, who was given a warning for slow play. "No match is perfect but I did a lot of things very well. No mistakes, serving with good percentage, and playing a lot of winners.   Continued...

Rafael Nadal hits a backhand against Denis Istomin (not pictured) on day eight of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Nadal won 6-1, 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports