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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal overcame the much-hyped potential star of Australian tennis in his quest for a fourth consecutive major title.
Despite a mostly parochial crowd of 15,000 at Rod Laver Arena, the top-ranked Nadal secured a 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 win over 18-year-old wildcard Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open on Saturday. Nadal advanced to a fourth-round match against Marin Cilic.
A title at Melbourne Park would make the Spanish star the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam trophies at once, although Laver achieved the true Grand Slam by winning all four in a calendar year.
"I think I started playing well, but he's the kind of player who can make you play bad," Nadal said. "I have to play a bit better if I want to get to the quarterfinals."
French Open finalist Sam Stosur lost 7-6 (5), 6-3 to No. 25 Petra Kvitova, ending Australia's hopes in the women's draw.
For Nadal, it wasn't always easy. He trailed 4-0 in the second set before giving Tomic a clinic in comeback tennis. At 5-5, he broke Tomic's serve, then held in the next game to win the set.
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