Nadal blows away Sweeting at Melbourne

Updated: Jan 20, 2011, 12:02 PM IST

Melbourne: Rocket-heeled Rafa Nadal`s bid for a fourth consecutive grand slam gained pace on Thursday with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 demolition of hapless American qualifier Ryan Sweeting at the Australian Open.

Darting around a sun-drenched Rod Laver Arena in a salmon-coloured shirt, the nine-times grand slam champion charged out of the blocks with a service break and rarely missed a beat in a 102-minute romp into the third round.

Nadal had been denied a full first-round workout when his Brazilian opponent Marcos Daniel retired hurt and was not forced to work that much harder against Sweeting, who was left flat-footed on the baseline as missiles flew into the corners.

The Spaniard will next meet compatriot Feliciano Lopez or teenaged local hope Bernard Tomic as he bids to become the first man to hold all four major crowns concurrently since Rod Laver in 1969.

Bureau Report