New York - Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 at the US Open on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Gilles Simon of France.
The top seed will play Spanish compatriot Feliciano Lopez for a place in the quarter-finals.
Seeking to complete the career Grand Slam in New York as the youngest player ever to do so, Nadal scored straight-sets wins in his first two ties but was made to work hard for them.
Simon, back to near his best after a year of problems with a knee injury, looked to a previous win over Nadal, on the Spaniard's home turf in Madrid in 2008.
Nadal opened strongly, breaking in the third game on the way to stacking up a 3-1 lead and that was all he needed as he took the opener 6-4 in 47 minutes.
Simon held his own against the eight-time Grand Slam winner until 3-3 in the second set, but the weight of Nadal's huge forehands gradually took its toll on him and he conceded serve in the seventh game.
Again, that was all the margin needed by the Spaniard as he served out twice to take a two sets to love lead.
Nadal was now firing on all cylinders and a break of serve in the opening game of the third set doomed any realistic hopes Simon may have harboured of making an unlikely comeback.