Nadal coasts into fourth round of Australian Open

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal coasted into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday, beating Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-3, 6-1.

The world No. 1 Spaniard tore past the No. 28 seed from Bosnia in a night match on Margaret Court Arena to reach the fourth round for the 11th time. Nadal, a three-time finalist who won this Grand Slam event in 2009, is attempting to add to his 16 major titles.

“I’m happy to be through to the fourth round,” Nadal said. “I needed hours of court, hours of playing sets with different players. That’s what I did. I think I had a good preparation here. I felt myself playing well. Here I am in the fourth round — that’s because I am doing the right things. Let’s see how far I can go.”

In the round of 16 on Sunday, the 31-year-old Nadal will face Argentina’s No. 24 seed Diego Schwartzman, who stopped Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 6-7 (1), 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.

“Diego’s a great player,” Nadal said. “He’s a player that last year had an amazing year, and this year started again playing so well. So already won three matches here, playing again at a very high level. He’s a very complete player. He’s a player that if I don’t play my best, I’m probably not going to win.”

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund earned a five-set victory in the third round while enduring 104-degree temperatures in an afternoon match that lasted more than 3 1/2 hours.

Edmund outlasted Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (0), 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5 to reach the fourth round of a major tournament for just the second time. The 23-year-old fell in round four of the 2016 U.S. Open.

The highlight of Friday’s match was Edmund breaking serve early in the fourth set to cap a 33-point game that last 19 minutes, 59 seconds. Basilashvili saved seven break points in that game.

The only service break of the fifth set occurred when Edmund won match point on a Basilashvili shot into the net.

“Really good to come through again,” Edmund said. “Fifth set, normally you can work things out and see the lines. The whole of that fifth set, the finish line seemed so far away.

“Physically at the end it was very demanding. When he hit that ball in the net (to end the match), I was so relieved. It’s not easy. The accumulation of hours and hours, there was no give, no fresh air. You either get the ball or you don’t. There’s no bluffing. It was tough, but it was tough for him, too.”

Edmund wound up hitting 20 aces and just two double faults. Basilashvili logged 12 aces and 17 double faults.

Next up for Edmund, ranked 49th in the world, is a matchup with Italian Andreas Seppi, who withstood 52 aces from 38-year-old and 6-foot-11 Croatian Ivo Karlovic for a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-7 (5), 9-7 win in 3 hours, 51 minutes.

The first seeded man to advance the fourth round was No. 10 Pablo Carreno Busta, who got past 23rd-seeded Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Muller pounded 40 aces to just 14 for the Spaniard, but Carreno Busta earned the win in 3 hours, 18 minutes.

“It was really tough conditions to play today, but I (did) my best,” Carreno Busta said. “I feel very comfortable on court now, I’m growing up and I’m very happy for this.”

Carreno Busta, 26, last year was a French Open quarterfinalist and a U.S. Open semifinalist. He has yet to advance to a major final. His next opponent will be sixth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia, who beat American Ryan Harrison 7-6 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (4).

Joining Carreno Busta in the fourth round is third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian, a semifinalist in Melbourne last year, beat Russia’s Andrey Rublev 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in 3 hours, 7 minutes.

Dimitrov had a 13-4 advantage in aces and a 45-29 edge in winners. He will next face 17th-seeded Australian Nick Kyrgios, who defeated 15th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5).

–Field Level Media

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