Monday 25 June 2018

Belgium BEL 5

Tunisia TUN 2

REPORT

South Korea KOR 1

Mexico MEX 2

REPORT

Germany GER 2

Sweden SWE 1

REPORT

England ENG 6

Panama PAN 1

REPORT

Japan JPN 2

Senegal SEN 2

REPORT

Poland POL 0

Colombia COL 3

REPORT

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Gruelling win fills Nadal with confidence for glory push

Rafael Nadal hits a return against Diego Schwartzman during their
fourth-round match at the Australian Open. Photo: Getty Images
Rafael Nadal hits a return against Diego Schwartzman during their fourth-round match at the Australian Open. Photo: Getty Images

Simon Briggs

Rafael Nadal wanted a fitness test in the first week and he got one in his almost four-hour, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 win over Diego Schwartzman.

After embracing at the net, his spot in a 10th Australian Open quarter-final secure, top-ranked Nadal draped an arm around his Argentinian friend and patted him on top of the head.

"A great battle ... he's a good friend of mine," Nadal said. "This is the first big match that I played in 2018.

"One match like this probably helps. That's confidence for myself, that's confidence I can resist for four hours on court at a good intensity."

Nadal lost last year's Australian Open final in five sets to Roger Federer, but went on to regain the No 1 ranking and win the French and US Open titles before bringing his season to a premature end because of an injured right knee.

Premature

Nadal lost last year's Australian Open final in five sets to Roger Federer, but went on to regain the No 1 ranking and win the French and US Open titles before bringing his season to a premature end because of an injured right knee.

He didn't play a competitive match before the season-opening Major, and advanced through three rounds without dropping a set.

That streak finished when Schwartzman took the second set to level the match, rebounding three times after dropping serve to break back.

The key game of the fourth set lasted almost 13 minutes and 20 points, with Nadal finally holding after saving five break-points as Schwartzman attacked him with everything he had.

The 16-time Major winner broke again in the next game and withstood more break points - seven in all in the last set and 15 of 18 in the match - before clinching it in 3 hours, 51 minutes.

Nadal will next play sixth-seeded Marin Cilic, who collected his 100th Grand Slam match win with a 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (3) victory over No 10 seed Pablo Carreno Busta.

"It was a big battle. I was really relieved I played such a good tiebreaker at the end," the 2014 US Open winner said.

Of his Grand Slam milestone, Cilic said he hadn't been aware of it before the match "but it's beautiful to hear.

"I had the 300th win of my career at the US Open in 2014, so this is also beautiful one. I hope I'm going to continue and gather three more here."

Grigor Dimitrov reached the quarter-finals for the third time as he put paid to the last local hope with a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4) win over Nick Kyrgios. Both players got tense in the fourth set, with Dimitrov broken while serving for the match and Kyrgios smashing an easy overhead into the net on a break point.

No 3-ranked Dimitrov lost to Kyrgios in the semi-finals at the Brisbane International earlier this month but avenged it on the major stage.

He will next play Kyle Edmund, who showed his inner steel again as he fought back from a demoralising start to beat Andreas Seppi, the experienced Italian, and seal his place in the quarter-final of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Edmund will also claim a career-high ranking in the mid-30s after this event - which would put him on the verge of a seeding at the French Open in May if he can sustain it.

But first he has another match to play - which must have felt like a mixed blessing as he staggered off HiSense Arena, having played 17 sets and 12 hours of tennis in the first four rounds. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Australian Open,

Live Eurosport 1, 7.45

Indo Sport

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport