Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

Australian Open updates: Rafael Nadal through to last 16 as Maria Sharapova beats defending champion Caroline Wozniacki

The 2008 champion Sharapova beats the Dane in three-set thriller in Melbourne

Rafael Nadal is through to the fourth round of the Australian Open. Reuters 
Rafael Nadal is through to the fourth round of the Australian Open. Reuters 

Rafael Nadal hailed Alex de Minaur as "one of the best in the world" but still showed the teenager the Australian Open door 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in the third round on Friday.

The relentless Spanish 17-time Grand Slam champion dragged the 19-year-old Australian 27th seed over every inch of Rod Laver Arena as he romped to victory in 2hr 22min.

Second seed Nadal will face unseeded Czech former world number four Tomas Berdych for a place in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova produced one of her best performances in recent years as she defeated defending champion Caroline Wozniacki to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

The Russian prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a match that lasted more than two hours and twenty minutes.

Sharapova, 31, whose sole Melbourne title came 11 years ago, came from a break down in the first set to take the lead.

She again fought back in the second set, but Wozniacki broke in the 10th game to take the match to a decider.

But Sharapova won the final four games of the final set to clinch her success and a match against Ashleigh Barty on Sunday.

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Earlier, Roger Federer clinically swept into the Australian Open last 16 in convincing fashion.

The Swiss great tamed big-serving American Taylor Fritz 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 with the roof closed on Rod Laver Arena to stay on track for a third successive title at Melbourne Park and a 21st Grand Slam crown.

On a rain-affected day that prevented early play on outside courts, the 37-year-old showed no mercy to the 21-year-old in his 100th match on the centre court in Melbourne.

"I had a really good feeling out here today against someone who can be dangerous," said Federer after reaching the Melbourne fourth round for the 17th time - more than anyone else ever.

"Taylor played really well. He is going to have many more years on tour playing at this level. It is pretty cool to watch him play."

The double defending champion is gunning for a record seventh Australian title. If goes on to win the tournament, he will become the first man ever to claim seven or more crowns at two slams, having already won eight Wimbledons.

Next up for him is fiery Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 14th seed who beat Georgia's 19th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.

Updated: January 18, 2019 02:56 PM

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