Monday, 05 Jun, 2023


Nadal beats Mannarino to reach Australian Open quarterfinals 

Sports Desk |
Update: 2022-01-23 13:14:42
Nadal beats Mannarino to reach Australian Open quarterfinals  [photo collected]

Rafael Nadal progressed to the Australian Open quarter-finals with a straight-set win over Adrian Mannarino as the Spaniard continues his quest for a record-breaking 21st major title.

Nadal, 35, edged an epic 28-minute first-set tie-break as he eventually converted his seventh set point.

Mannarino struggled with injury after the tie-break, as the sixth seed went on to claim a 7-6 (16-14) 6-2 6-2 win.

Nadal plays German third seed Alexander Zverev or Denis Shapovalov next.

Nadal, the 2009 champion and five-time finalist in Melbourne, also faced four set points in a remarkable opening set which lasted one hour and 22 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

That breathless battle took its toll on the 33-year-old Mannarino, who had a problem with his knee and groin and was subsequently broken in the opening game of the second set.

Nadal made a fast start in the third too, breaking Mannarino in the opening game once again, but despite struggling the Frenchman rallied and broke back to love.

He could not deny Nadal in third game, despite saving five break points - the Spaniard taking his sixth chance to begin a four-game run to move clear and seal victory in two hours and 43 minutes.

The only former Melbourne champion remaining in the men's draw, Nadal faces a tough challenge against either Zverev or Canadian 14th seed Shapovalov in the last eight.

"I was a little bit lucky at the end of the tiebreaker, I had my chances but then he had a lot of chances too," Nadal said.

"That crazy first set was so important and the service break at the beginning of the second set too."

He added: "He had been playing some fantastic tennis during the whole tournament, winning against amazing players, and today the first set was super difficult.

"His ball was very difficult to control, very flat, very fast and I am very happy that I survived that."

Source: BBC

BDST: 1312 HRS, JAN 23, 2022

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