Nadal advances steadily in Australia: he reached the quarterfinals and maintains the goal of making history

*The HL of the match between Nadal and Mannarino

The Spanish Rafael Nadal (6) won the left-handed duel against the French Adrian Mannarino in the round of 16 of the Australian Open for 7-6(12), 6-2 and 6-2, after winning an exciting first set that lasted one hour and 21 minutes.

”The first set was very exciting and I was lucky at the end. He has had many opportunities too”, commented the Spaniard after certifying his pass to the quarterfinals in a match that lasted two hours and 40 minutes.

His next rival will be the Canadian Denis Shapovalov (14), who easily beat German Alexander Zverev (3) 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 in two hours and 21 minutes.

The Spanish continues at a steady pace in the Australian Open (Reuters)

The left-handed duel provided a fast-paced first set after both the Frenchman and the Spanish shielded their services until a tie-break game that was decided by an exciting 14-12 in favor of the 20-big champion. Mannarino’s proposal, which stole time from his rival with early flat impacts, pushed a Nadal to the limit who had to bring out his repertoire of spectacular shots that put Rod Laver Arena on its feet excited for a round of 16 with a taste of the final.

Nadal closed a first sleeve that lasted one hour and 21 minutes on his seventh match point, while the Frenchman wasted four opportunities to score the first round.

Mannarino’s brilliance faded as a result of wear and tear as well as the high temperature and Nadal, who maintain intensity and focus, comfortably took a second set 6-2 in which he touched 90% of the points with first services.

Nadal will face Shapovalov in the quarterfinals (Reuters)
Nadal will face Shapovalov in the quarterfinals (Reuters)

Mannarino, that played for the first time a few eighths final on the banks of the Yarra, exchanged a few words with one of the tournament doctors about problems related to his left groin.

It was a mirage the Frenchman’s break to equal one what would be the last set after Nadal’s forcefulness ended the limited plan of an exhausted Mannarino.

The sixth-ranked player in the world closed the match with 15 aces, 39 winners and 21 unforced errors. After the victory, Nadal equaled the local John Newcombe with fourteen appearances in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in a classification led by the Swiss Roger Federer with 15. The man from Manacor reached the quarterfinals 45 times out of the 63 participations in Grand Slam since turning professional in 2001.

Regarding his next rival, the Canadian Denis Shapovalov (14), he warned that, “He has a lot of potential and it’s hard to stop when he’s good”. “In the quarterfinals, all the games are difficult. I’ve just played two very good games and it’s going to be a challenge, especially after today’s game”, he stated.


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