Local hopes for 2011 at the Australian Open ended in a Saturday night drubbing as Bernard Tomic and Samantha Stosur were comprehensively knocked out in the third round.
Tomic, the teenage hope of the Aussie game, was schooled by world number one Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 as the top-seed gave a demonstration of the wide gap in the game between the wannabes and the elite.
Nadal came out tentative against Tomic, 18, who failed to duplicate the 2003 Wimbledon success of Mark Philippoussis, the last Australian to beat a world number one when he upset Andre Agassi in the round of 16.
Nadal dug his way out of brief difficulty as he went down a double break 0-4 in the second set, only to end up winning the set as his juggernaut gathered momentum. The Spaniard won running away to complete a straight set sweep over the number 199.
“When I was down in the second set, I was thinking that I’d have to win the third,” said Nadal, who next faces Marin Cilic. “He makes you play badly. It’s hard to move him from the baseline.
“In the end I went to the net more. I have to play more like that. I must improve my level if I want to beat Cilic. I have to play aggressively and go for shots close to the line.”
Keywords: Australian Open