Rafael Nadal's perfect 2018 Wimbledon run continued after a straights-set 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Alex De Minaur in the third round on Saturday.
Entering this year's tournament as the No. 2 seed, Nadal has yet to drop a set through his first three matches.
Prior to the match, former professional Australian tennis player Sam Groth said the following, per James Gray of Express.co:
"You have to be able to rush his forehand, not give him time to get around the hit. If you can do that and get him hitting early, he won't get the force. If you can rush Rafa not just during points but between points as well, you break up his rhythm and he's rattled. If someone isn't in Alex's ear explaining all this to him, they're missing a very big trick."
However, De Minaur, also from Australia, was overmatched from the first serve. He never found an opening to try taking advantage, though things were closer in the third set:
As Jose Morgado of the Record noted, it didn't help De Minaur's cause that Nadal started by putting on his best performance of the tournament:
De Minaur, 19, committed five double-faults, had an 18-3 disadvantage in points won at the net and was unable to match Nadal in spectacular-shot execution:
Nadal, 32, is having one of the best seasons of his career. Saturday's win was his 15th straight victory and his 31st in 33 total matches. He's also going for his fifth singles title in seven tournaments. The last set he dropped came in the quarterfinals of the French Open against Diego Schwartzman.
Since reaching the Wimbledon final in 2011, Nadal hasn't advanced past the fourth round. He's won seven Grand Slams (five at the French Open, two at the U.S. Open) and reached the Australian Open final three times during that stretch.
In the previous five instances when Nadal has advanced past the fourth round, he's made it to the final and won twice.
While grass hasn't been the most friendly surface for Nadal, he's on such a roll right now that it's going to take a special effort from someone to prevent him from capturing a third title at the All England Club.