Nadal sweeps into last 16
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:15
The world number one, seeking his first title in Melbourne, eased to a 6-4 6-2 6-2 triumph at Rod Laver Arena to set up a meeting with 13th seed Fernando Gonzalez in the last 16.
The 22-year-old from Mallorca hit 53 winners and just eight unforced errors in the match as unseeded German Haas ran out of ideas after a bright opening.
Nadal suffered a setback in the opening set as Haas claimed an early break to jump out into an unexpected 2-0 lead.
The loss of his opening game marked the first time Nadal had dropped serve in the tournament, but he hit straight back in the next, finally claiming a break at the sixth time of asking to get back on serve. That was the start of a four-game winning streak for Nadal, another break going his way as he moved 4-2 in front.
Haas saved yet more break-point chances in the next game to deny Nadal the chance to serve for the set, although the 22-year-old duly served to love in the next to move to the brink at 5-3.
The German fended off two set-point chances in the ninth game to ensure Nadal was forced to serve for the set, but the outcome was never in doubt as the irresistible Spaniard rattled off a third straight service game to love to claim the opener.
Haas held his own at the start of the second set before his opponent began to grind him down, forcing the errors and eventually claiming the break to move into the driving seat.
The four-time French Open champion moved a double break up at 5-2 as the winning strokes continued to flow from his racquet, 39 in total by the end of the second set which was wrapped with a thumping serve that Haas could only return into the ground.
The writing was on the wall by the start of the third and Nadal had little trouble closing out the match, two further breaks of the Haas serve settling matters after a little over two hours on court.