Chasing a record 21st Grand Slam title, Rafael Nadal cruised to a 7-5, 6-2, 7-5 win over Cameron Norrie on empty Rod Laver Arena in two hours and 14 minutes to reach the second week of a major for the 50th time.
Rafa hit eight more winners (33-25) and committed eight fewer unforced errors (35-43) than Norrie while he really dominated the Brit’s second serve. Norrie only won 23 per cent of his second serves while our champ won 69 per cent of his.
After the match, Rafa said:
I think I didn’t convert the opportunities I had at the beginning of every set, so the situation became a little more difficult. Then of course you play against the best players in the world so it’s normal you suffer a little bit. But I’m happy. Of course I need to keep improving, but I’m in the second week, that’s the main thing for me now.
Of course, the feeling is completely different [without fans], nobody wants this. But it’s not the moment to forget about the situation that we are facing, it’s a moment to be responsibility. Australia is one of the best countries in the world [in combatting Covid], so maximum respect for what they are doing.
We’ve played a lot of times. He beat me a couple of times. He [Fabio Fognini] came here after an injury so he will be hungry to play well. A very impressive victory today so he will come to that match in plenty of confidence. Of course I need to keep improving, I need to be ready for it, I hope this can happen.
He next faces Fabio Fognini, who defeated Alex de Minaur. Rafa leads the Italian 12-4, which includes a three-set victory in their most recent encounter at Rogers Cup in Montreal two years ago.