Australian Open Tennis

Mallorca's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his fourth round match against Italy's Fabio Fognini.

15-02-2021LOREN ELLIOTT

Rafa Nadal threw a blanket over the fire of Fabio Fognini to cruise into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win on Monday.

Facing the man who dumped him from the 2015 U.S. Open, second seed Nadal held steady against the fierce hitting of the flamboyant Italian and counter-punched brilliantly to avoid a longer scrap at a sunbathed Rod Laver Arena.

The score suggested otherwise, but it was a quality two-hour 16-minute workout for Nadal, who had to rally from 4-2 down in the second set to put the match on his terms.

From there, the momentum was all the Spaniard's as Nadal roared through the final set to fix up a clash with either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Matteo Berrettini.

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