Nadal too hot to handle at Wimbledon

Spaniard eases past Alex De Minaur into the fourth round

Rafael Nadal ensured he will keep the world number one ranking whatever happens during the second week of Wimbledon by easing past Alex De Minaur and into the fourth round.

The Spaniard's 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory means Roger Federer cannot catch him even if the Swiss goes on to win a ninth title at the All England Club.

Neither of the top two has lost a set heading into the last 16, and that did not look like changing on Centre Court as Nadal bullied 19-year-old Australian De Minaur.

The teenager fought valiantly for every game and kept Nadal on court for two hours and two minutes but the result always appeared a formality.


Nadal has not been beyond the last 16 since reaching the final for the fifth time in 2011, and he said: “It was a positive match against a player who is young with a lot of energy out there. There were some tough moments but it is a very positive result so I am happy to be through.”

The biggest threat to Nadal reaching the last four could well be fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro, who is through to the fourth round for the first time since 2013 after a 6-4 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 victory over Frenchman Benoit Paire.

Del Potro pushed Novak Djokovic all the way in one of Wimbledon's most memorable semi-finals five years ago before his career was nearly ruined by wrist problems, but he appears back to his best.

The Argentinian said: “I had my chances to win here a few years ago. I don’t know how far I will go in this tournament, but I’m confident with my game at this time. But I always say the same. Roger and Rafa are the favourites.”

Del Potro next meets France's Gilles Simon, who defeated Matt Ebden of Australia 6-1 6-7 (3/7) 6-3 7-6 (7/2).

Former runner-up Milos Raonic made short work of finishing off his clash with Dennis Novak.

The Canadian and his Austrian opponent were forced off by darkness in the third set on Friday night but Raonic, beaten by Andy Murray in the final in 2016, secured a quick break to take the third set before dominating the fourth to win 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 7-5 6-2.

Raonic, who will next meet Mackenzie McDonald, felt a change of attitude made the difference, saying: “I just came out with a very different mindset. I was extremely negative yesterday and just needed to come out with a very different state of mind and different approach today.”