Rafael Nadal marches on at Wimbledon with ruthless display against teenager Alex De Minaur

RAFA NADAL cemented his place as world number one by beating up a teenager.

The Spaniard saw off plucky Australian Alex De Minaur in straight sets to also make sure he is in the fourth round and on course for back-to-back Grand Slams.

 Wimbledon second seed reaches fourth round and keeps top ranking.

Getty Images – Getty
8
Wimbledon second seed reaches fourth round and keeps top ranking.

Wimbledon debutant De Minaur put up a gutsy fight and Nadal needed three match points to seal victory. Despite the one-sided scoreline Di Minaur put up a stern fight against hefty odds.

The 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory means two-times Wimbledon champ Nadal will hold off Roger Federer and retain top spot in the world rankings.

Nadal said: “It was a positive match for me. I was playing against a very young player who had a lot of energy out there.

“He gave me some difficult moments at the beginning and in the third set. I am just happy to be through.”

 Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Alex De Minaur during their Men's Singles third round match on day six at Wimbledon.

Getty Images – Getty
8
Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Alex De Minaur during their Men's Singles third round match on day six at Wimbledon.
 Rafael Nadal returns a shot against Alex De Minaur.

Getty Images – Getty
8
Rafael Nadal returns a shot against Alex De Minaur.
 Alex De Minaur towels down between games against Rafael Nadal.

Getty Images – Getty
8
Alex De Minaur towels down between games against Rafael Nadal.

Nadal’s pal, fellow Spaniard and Major golf champion Sergio Garcia was among the guests in the Royal Box cheering on the reigning French champion in action on grass against a 19-year-old who produced a hell of a display and will be back again.

Nadal, 32, said: “Playing in front of very important people in sport is a big honour. We talk the same language it is great to have these people close to me."

The next rankings are released on July 16 and the 17-time Grand Slam champion needed to reach the last 16 here to stay on top.

Wimbledon stars including Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal test their croquet skills on 150th anniversary of All England Club

 The Australian won the Nottingham grass-court event last month.

Getty Images – Getty
8
The Australian won the Nottingham grass-court event last month.
 The Spaniard comfortably overcame the Australian teenager 6-1 6-2 6-4 on Centre Court.

EPA
8
The Spaniard comfortably overcame the Australian teenager 6-1 6-2 6-4 on Centre Court.
 Nadal throws his hands in the air as he celebrates the win at Wimbledon.

Getty Images – Getty
8
Nadal throws his hands in the air as he celebrates the win at Wimbledon.
 Rafael Nadal waves to the crowd after defeating Alex De Minaur.

Getty Images – Getty
8
Rafael Nadal waves to the crowd after defeating Alex De Minaur.

Nadal will next play 24-year-old Czech Jiri Vesely on Monday.

World number 93 Vesely beat 19th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Exhilarating tennis from day four of Wimbledon featuring Kyle Edmund, Rafael Nadal, Johanna Konta and Novak Djokovic

RAFA NADAL cemented his place as world number one by beating up a teenager.