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Nadal reaches 4th round

01-21-2012 12:00 BJT Special Report:Australian Open Tennis Championships 2012 |

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Rafael Nadal looks solid after 3 rounds of play in the Australian Open. He came up with a quality effort against a qualifier at Melbourne on Thursday.

The world second-ranked Nadal met Slovakia's Lukas Lacko. The Spaniard mentioned a sharp pain in his right knee while sitting in a chair at his hotel last weekend, but medical tests didn't show any serious damage.

Spain's Rafael Nadal makes a backhand return to Slovakia's Lukas Lacko during their
third round match at the Australian Open tennis championship, in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 20, 2012.

Nadal's played with his knee heavily taped ever since. He used a confident ground game to take a 4-2 lead in the first set against Lacko. The next two games fell Nadal's way as well, and he notched the first set, 6-2. Nadal maintained his stride in the second set. Lacko managed to improve his game early in the set, but Nadal took the lead and served it out, 6-4. Lacko made more adjustments in the third set. He protected his service game with a love game at the start. But the Slovak's hopes for a big comeback didn't go far. Nadal went in front and stayed there. The Spaniard won the third set 6-2 and took the match. He's moved into the fourth round of the tournament without dropping a set or showing any sign of injury. Nadal advances in Melbourne.


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