Rafael Nadal sweeps past Fabio Fognini at Australian Open

Rafael Nadal sweeps past Fabio Fognini into Australian Open last eight and still hasn’t dropped a set as Spanish star dispels fears of a back problem

  • Rafael Nadal beat Fabio Fognini in straight sets at the Australian Open 
  • Second seed eased to a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory to reach 43rd Grand Slam quarter
  • Nadal entered the tournament with a back injury but problem has improved
  • He has cruised through to the last eight in Melbourne without dropping a set  

Rafael Nadal swept aside Fabio Fognini to reach a 43rd grand slam quarter-final.

Nadal came into the tournament with a back injury but declared after his third-round win over Cameron Norrie that it had finally started to improve.

He has now reached the last eight without dropping a set.

Rafael Nadal overcame Fabio Fognini in straight sets to reach the Australian Open last eight

The second seed proved too strong for Fabio Fognini as he eased into another quarter-final

Nadal wasn’t unduly troubled by Fognini as he eased to a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory on Monday

Fognini, who came from two sets down to beat Nadal at the US Open in 2015, led by a break in the second set but lacked the discipline to really challenge the second seed, who eased to a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory.

The score suggested otherwise, but it was a quality two-hour 16-minute workout for Nadal, who had to rally from 4-2 down in the second set to put the match on his terms.

From there, the momentum was all the Spaniard’s as Nadal roared through the final set to fix up a clash with either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Matteo Berrettini.

Nadal said after his win: ‘I played a good game when he broke me [in the second set] and was lucky to have the break back immediately and save a game from love-40 so I was a bit lucky.

‘It was humid and warm but the conditions are quicker during the day and for me it’s better to play in the day as I like the ball flying. But I need to adapt for all the conditions.

‘I’m happy the back is holding up but [Tuesday] will be an important day for practice.’ 

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