EFEMelbourne, Australia

Rafael Nadal shone on Friday in his first real test at this year’s Australian Open after beating Russia’s Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in the third round.

“It is a very special week for me. I played against a great player and it was my best match so far,” Nadal said after reaching the fourth round for the 15th time in his career, equaling Roger Federer’s record.

The Spanish star produced his best tennis of the competition so far in a first set in which he served well, conceding just one point throughout the frame, as he displayed his classic repertoire of accurate forehands at breathtaking speed at the Rod Laver Arena.

(...)