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World No.1 Rafael Nadal made clear his intentions to triumph once again at Roland Garros by lifting his game to crush Australian Lleyton Hewitt 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 to reach the fourth round of Paris.
After making slow progress to Nadal’s high standards, tennis fans looked on to see what the former World No.1 had to present to the Spaniard. Nadal duly responded by raising his level and, despite fine tactics from Hewitt, sent out a message to his rivals with a convincing victory over the Australian.
Nadal raced off the blocks, rallying from 0-40 in Hewitt’s opening service game to break Hewitt and open up a 3-0 lead. The left-hander outplayed Hewitt from the baseline, consistently dragging him into the realm of unforced errors as the Adelaide native tried for too much in an attempt to get the ball past Nadal. A second break of serve in the sixth game aided Nadal as he raced to a one-set lead in 30 minutes.
Fans were treated to a taster as Hewitt reeled off three straight games to lead 3-2, courtesy of attacking play from the right-hander. Nadal stepped it up another notch, reeling off four games to minimise Hewitt’s resistance. The third set was a straightforward affair for Nadal, with breaks in the first and sixth games for victory in one hour and 51 minutes.
The Mallorca native will next face No.23 seed Robin Soderling, who battled past Nadal’s compatriot David Ferrer 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2, 7-6(5).