Nadal eases past De Minaur to stay on top of the world
Rafael Nadal raced past Alex de Minaur 6-1 6-2 6-4 to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon and retain his place at the top of the world rankings.
Two-time champion Nadal was clinical on Centre Court and looks to be finding his best form as the grass-court grand slam heads towards the latter stages.
Although the scoreline was a little harsh on teenager De Minaur, he was simply unable to stay with the second seed in all three sets.
Having not been beyond the last 16 at the All England Club since 2011, Nadal will now face either Jiri Vesely or Fabio Fognini in a bid to end the drought.
De Minaur's determination to attack Nadal early on made for an entertaining match, but the Spaniard soon had his opponent desperately chasing the ball to secure an early break.
And the Australian fell further behind when he found the net to be broken again, allowing Nadal to serve out the set.
De Minaur looked to be disheartened when another positive start tailed off in the second, a wild backhand going long to give Nadal the advantage once more.
The set was ultimately as straightforward as the first, with De Minaur firing into the net and Nadal moving further ahead when prevailing in a thrilling game that included a breathtaking between-the-legs lob.
A sublime forehand return put Nadal in front in the third and, although De Minaur determinedly held up his rival in the final game, a close-range volley sealed a comfortable victory that assures the world number one will still be sitting in top spot when the rankings are updated after the tournament.
Nadal  bt De Minaur 6-1 6-2 6-4
Nadal – 30/19
De Minaur - 17/16
Nadal – 5/1
De Minaur - 8/5
BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 5/12
De Minaur - 0/3
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Nadal – 58
De Minaur - 56
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Nadal – 77/72
De Minaur - 60/50
Nadal – 91
De Minaur - 62