MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal advanced into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday with a 6-1 6-0 7-5 victory over Israel’s Dudi Sela, avoiding the fate that befell second seed Roger Federer who had earlier been dumped out of the tournament by Andreas Seppi.
Third seeded Nadal had himself narrowly avoided an early exit when he needed five sets and more than four hours to beat American qualifier Tim Smyczek in the second round as he battled illness, but made no such mistakes on Friday.
The Spaniard jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set and never looked back, despite some resistance from the 106th ranked Sela in the third set, to win in a shade over two hours.
The 14-times grand slam champion will now meet 14th seed Kevin Anderson after the big serving South African beat France’s Richard Gasquet 6-4 7-6(3) 7-6(6).
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by martyn Herman