By Steve Keating
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fourth seed Rafa Nadal showed he is healthy and ready to challenge for a third U.S. Open title as he rolled into the last 16 at Flushing Meadows on Friday with a fist-pumping 6-1 6-4 6-2 win over Russian Andrey Kuznetsov.
Erasing any lingering concerns over an injured wrist that kept him out of Wimbledon, Nadal has made a powerful start to the year's final grand slam, racing into the fourth round without dropping a set.
It was vintage Nadal on a warm New York evening, as the energetic Spaniard wore down his 47th-ranked opponent with a breathless work rate and a bombardment of stinging forehands.
Despite the one-sided scoreline, Nadal did his best to keep another large crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium entertained closing out the match in theatrical style, setting up the winning point with a between-the-legs lob that had fans on their feet.
Nadal had them roaring again seconds later as he danced across the court in a succession of fist-pumps.
(Editing by Andrew Both)