What a game! Fernando Gonzalez came from two sets down in a four-hour-and-nine-minute battle against Richard Gasquet (3-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 12-10). World number one Raphael Nadal beat Tommy Haas in straight sets (6-4, 6-2, 6-2) .
Reuters - World number one Rafael Nadal produced one of his best performances at the Australian Open when he pummelled Germany's Tommy Haas 6-4 6-2 6-2 on Saturday to reach the fourth round.
The Spaniard showed no mercy as he outgunned Haas, who had just returned to the tour after elbow problems, and raced to victory in a little over two hours.
Nadal struck 53 winners and committed just eight unforced errors as he unveiled his full bag of tricks against a bewildered Haas on the Rod Laver centre court.
"I'm very happy with my level today," Nadal said in a courtside interview. "Probably, I played my one of my best matches in Australia.
"I can go to sleep tonight with big satisfaction about how I play."
Nadal has never won a grand slam on a hard court but goes into the second week of the Australian Open brimming with confidence and in devastating form having won each of his three matches in straight sets.
"Perfect matches don't exist but today, especially after the first three or four games, I started to play well," he said at a news conference.
"In the beginning, I was playing too short and Tommy had control of the points on the court.
"I'm just very happy to be in fourth round for another year."
Nadal's next opponent will be Fernando Gonzalez, the 2007 finalist.
Gonzalez beat Nadal in the 2007 quarter-finals here but the Spaniard got his revenge last year in the Beijing Olympic final.
Gonzalez was lucky to make it to the last 16 on Saturday after saving a match point in his 3-6 3-6 7-6 6-2 12-10 win over Richard Gasquet and Nadal was hoping the Chilean had used up a lot of energy.
"The toughest matches are still to come," Nadal said.
"Gonzalez is coming with big confidence after two big wins against (Lleyton) Hewitt in the first round and right now against Gasquet with an unbelievable comeback, two sets down.
"He's going to be a little bit more tired but he's a very strong player physically.
"That's very important for the confidence."
Date created : 2009-01-24