• February 4, 2023

Australian Open: Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev reach quarter-finals

Rafael Nadal has reached the quarter-finals in 13 of 16 games at the Australian Open

Former champion Rafael Nadal and fourth Daniil Medvedev both reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The Spaniard Nadal, the 2009 winner and number two, routinely won 6: 3, 6: 4, 6: 2 at Melbourne Park against the 16th Italian Fabio Fognini.

Medvedev defeated the American world number 192 Mackenzie McDonald 6: 4: 6: 2: 6: 3 and got his 18th victory in a row.

This means that for the first time in the Open era, three Russians are in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam.

“I want more all the time, but step by step, that’s amazing,” said Medvedev, who took just an hour and 29 minutes to beat McDonald at Margaret Court Arena.

Medvedev will face fellow countryman Andrey Rublev in the last eight. Seventh seed Rublev was leading 6: 2, 7: 6 (7: 3) when Norwegian opponent Casper Ruud was eliminated with an injury.

Aslan Karatasev, who had to win three games in qualifying in Doha, won on Sunday as his dream Grand Slam debut went on.

No Russian man has won a Grand Slam since Marat Safin in Melbourne in 2005.

I was a little lucky – Nadal

Nadal’s win means he’s reached a Grand Slam quarter-finals for the 43rd time and won 20 titles, although his only success in Melbourne was against Roger Federer 12 years ago.

He entered this tournament with a back injury after retiring from the ATP Cup earlier this month but not losing a set in his four games.

Rafael NadalRafael Nadal has won the French Open 13 times, the US Open four times, Wimbledon twice and the Australian Open once

The 33-year-old Fognini played in the fourth round for the fourth time in eight years, but was unable to put the Spaniard under pressure, apart from a service break in the second set, from which Nadal immediately fell back.

“I played a good game when he broke me and was lucky enough to take the break straight away and save a game from Love-40 so I was a little lucky,” said 34-year-old Nadal.

“It was humid and warm, but the conditions are quicker during the day and it’s better for me to play during the day as I like the ball, but I have to adapt to all conditions.

“I’m glad that my back holds, though [Tuesday] will be an important day for practice. “

Nadal will play either against fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece on Wednesday or against Italian ninth seed Matteo Berrettini, who will play in the final at the Rod Laver Arena later on Monday.

“You face tough opponents in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam,” added Nadal. “Both are young, strong and have a lot of energy. It will be a great challenge.”

Jack

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