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Nadal mauls Monfils to storm into fourth round

Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal poses after an interview with Reuters in Madrid, September 18, 2012. REUTERS/Paul Hanna
Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal poses after an interview with Reuters in Madrid, September 18, 2012. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal shrugged off an injury scare to destroy flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-1 6-2 6-3 and storm into the Australian Open fourth round on Saturday.

Serving at 1-1 in the second set, the world number one stooped after a forehand from behind the baseline and clutched his right foot before limping off the court at the change of ends.

After jiggling his foot around some more during the break, Nadal returned to the court to humble Monfils in just over two hours, running the 25th seed ragged and feasting on his second serve.

The rangy Frenchman battled hard in the third set to prise breakpoints at 3-3, but Nadal's serve remained unbroken as he set up a clash with Japan's Kei Nishikori for a spot in the quarter-finals.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom,; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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