MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Rafael Nadal and Victoria Azarenka advanced with straight set wins on Friday to move on to the fourth round of the Australian Open.
World No. 2 Nadal mowed overÂ Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 .Â Nadal spoke to media about the condition of his knee.”Good.Â The knee is fine.Â That’s important thing.Â The match was a really complete match, a really solid one.Â Very happy about my game.
“Being in fourth round without losing a set, it’s fantastic news.
“I am playing well.Â If you are playing well, things can be a little bit less difficult.Â If you are playing bad, every match will be very, very difficult, no?
Nadal spoke about his earlier matches. “I did well.Â I played both matches, three matches at very good level.Â Today was one of the best, solid, without mistakes, comfortable with the serve, having good return.
“So nothing is easy.Â Everything is difficult.Â Every match you have your problems.Â First set was 6â€‘2, but was a really fighted set.Â That’s my feeling.Â Was tough one.
“But I played solid all the match, so that’s why the result.”
Nadal is set to face the winner of the FelicianoÂ Lopez – John Isner match.
No. 3 Victoria Azarenka is headed tot he round of 16 by virtue of a win over Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-4 on Friday. The Belarusian has only dropped eight games so far in Melbourne. Barthel had been on a 1o match winning streak winning last week’s Hobart tournament as a qualifier.
“I think it was a good match,” said Azarenlka.Â “You know, she’s a very good player.Â She has been winning a lot of matches, so definitely really confident.Â She was going for her shots.
“I think I started really well.Â The first set was very high quality of tennis.Â Second I think I lost a little bit of my concentration and wasn’t as dominant as I was in the first set.
“But, you know, I stayed composed and I tried to get it back.Â So a little bit of not good serving in the second.Â But, I mean, you have to go through a little bit of tough moments sometimes, too. ”
Azarenka will face Czech Iveta Benesova next.
Azarenka was angry with herself for needing five match points to closew out the match and for running out of challenges before she need to review a line call in the final game.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News