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Serious Rafatude! Nadal in last 16 for the 11th time in his career

Melbourne: Rafael Nadal stormed into the round of 16 at the Australian Open on Friday with a vintage performance as Grigor Dimitrov and Elina Svitolina kept their Grand Slam hopes alive on a hot draining day. The Spanish world number one showed no mercy to 28th seed Damir Dzumhur on Margaret Court Arena, as he rediscovers his best form after ankle trouble.

The top seed raced through the match in just 1 hour 50 minutes, wasting as little energy as possible in the 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 rout. "I was very, very focused," Nadal said. "I'm very happy with everything and to have another chance on Sunday." That chance will be against 24th seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman for a place in the quarter-finals. Third seed Dimitrov, who could meet Nadal in the semis, had plenty to prove after a huge second-round fright from a qualifier, who pushed him to five sets. And the Bulgarian delivered in a testing 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Russian rising star Andrey Rublev as temperatures touched 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). He will next face the winner of an intriguing night match which pits Australian Nick Kyrgios against French veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Fourth seed Svitolina also kept her title dreams alive by ending the hopes of young teenage pretender Marta Kostyuk. At just 15, Kostyuk was the youngest Melbourne Park third-round contestant since Martina Hingis in 1996, and was hailed after her previous win as "the future of tennis". She next plays another qualifier — big-serving Czech Denisa Allertova who romped past Magda Linette 6-1, 6-4 — for a place in the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Spain's Carla Suarez on Friday continued her Australian Open run defeating Estonia's Kaia Kanepi 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 in the third round.

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