Nadal slips previous Norrie into Reuters’ final 16

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© Reuters. Australian Open

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Second seed Rafa Nadal overcame strong early resistance from Briton Cameron Norrie before going into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday with a 7-5-6-2-7-5 win.

After Nadal had been molested by a fan with a loud mouth in his previous round, he enjoyed an accident-free evening in an empty Rod Laver Arena to reach the round of 16 in a Grand Slam for the 49th time in his career.

34-year-old Nadal, who wants to fight for the 21st Grand Slam record title, will next face the Italian Fabio Fognini.

Nadal won the first six points of the game but Norrie was not intimidated when he first met the Spaniard and led the first break 3-2.

However, he was instantly in love and folded at 5-6 to drop the service again and give Nadal the first set in 48 minutes.

After that, it was a routine day in the office for Nadal, who dominated without ever having to find a top gear and showed no signs of a lower back injury chasing him as he warmed up.

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