Nadal powers into last eight

Rafael Nadal maintained his Wimbledon quarter-final collision course with Andy Murray after dispatching Mikhail Youzhny 6-3 6-3 6-1.

The Spanish second seed avenged the worst defeat of his career – a 6-0 6-1 thrashing in Chennai earlier this year – by battering Youzhny into submission in two hours and 10 minutes on Court One.

Russian 17th seed Youzhny traded blows with the French Open champion from the baseline but Nadal overpowered his rival with some typically ferocious shots.

The 22-year-old, who is on course for a third successive final at the All England Club, overcame an early injury scare to post his straight-sets victory.

The match was just one game old when he requested a break to allow his trainer to treat a troublesome knee.

Racing to the net, the Spaniard showed remarkable speed to return a drop shot but then pulled up after sustaining the damage to his right leg.

When play resumed the knee was dressed with extra strapping but the manner in which he bludgeoned his way to three break points in the fourth suggested there were no lingering ill-effects.

Youzhny hit the net on the third but Nadal found himself in trouble a game later, firing a simple forehand wide to immediately concede his advantage.

The Majorcan was back in business when a cleverly-disguised drop shot secured break point and he concluded an enthralling rally with a brutal winner.

Youzhny kept his composure as he fell victim to two dreadful line calls in the eighth but he was only delaying the inevitable.

Nadal was in danger of running away with it as he broke in the fourth game of the second set with Youzhny doing the hard work only to overhit what should have been the winner.

The Russian, who led Nadal two sets to love in the same round of Wimbledon last year before slumping to defeat, was being ground out of contention.

Another poor call went against him but he responded with two impressive service games to keep him within sight.

His brave resistance was ebbing, however, as Nadal emerged triumphant from one delicate rally to close out the set.

Youzhny amassed three break points in the opening game of the third set but Nadal steadied himself and averted the danger with a vicious passing shot.

Brilliant play from the Russian appeared to have ended a marathon second as he recovered beautifully to send Nadal scampering backwards with a precision lob.

Nadal’s acceleration enabled him to recover but the return was a sitter for Youzhny who surged to the net for the simplest of smashes only to fire it long.

The nightmare shot was symbolic of his fading chances and, powerless to halt Nadal’s relentless onslaught, the demoralised underdog surrendered the final set - and with it the match.

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