Rafael Nadal demonstrated all his class and power with a ruthless display to eliminate France’s Gael Monfils in their third-round clash on Saturday night.
The Spaniard looked imperious against the usually flamboyant Monfils, winning out in straight sets, 6-1 6-2 6-3 in two hours and four minutes.
Nadal broke Monfils three times in the first set as Monfils showed a distinct lack of energy and urgency on Rod Laver Arena.
Monfils managed to win one more game in the second, but made too many unforced errors as Nadal took a two-set lead in quick time.
The Frenchman’s night was summed up in the third set, when at two games apiece, he charged for the net to volley Nadal’s approach shot, only to hit the ball straight into the net.
It sparked a show of frustration as Monfils took a swipe at the netting, before playfully practising a drop shot to the crowd’s amusement.
Nadal closed out the third set in 49 minutes following some late resistance from his opponent.
“Gael is always a big test,” Nadal said post-match.
“He’s a great player, but today I played my best match so far [in the tournament].”