SportsRafael Nadal News: Rafael Nadal very close to creating history, entered the...

Rafael Nadal News: Rafael Nadal very close to creating history, entered the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the 14th time

Melbourne: Former world number one Rafael Nadal defeated Adrian Manarino in straight sets on Sunday to reach the men’s singles quarter-finals of the Australian Open tennis tournament for the 14th time, where he will face Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov. Nadal won the fourth round match 7-6, 6-2, 6-2. He struggled for 28 minutes 40 seconds to win the first set tiebreak and during this he won on the seventh set point.

This is Nadal’s 21st consecutive win over left-handed players. He is now three wins away from winning a record 21st men’s singles Grand Slam title. Nadal said, ‘The first set was very emotional. Anything could have happened there. In the end I got a little lucky. I got opportunities, he also got a lot of opportunities. Nadal will face 22-year-old Shapovalov of Canada in the quarter-finals, who made an upset defeat of third seed Alexander Zverev to reach the Australian Open men’s singles quarterfinals for the first time.

Fourteenth seed Shapovalov defeated Olympic gold medalist Zverev in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 at Margaret Court. Shapovalov spent almost 11 hours on the court, winning the first three rounds. During this, he won twice in four sets and once in five sets. He, however, managed to register a win in three sets in two hours and 21 minutes against Zverev. Nadal also joined John Newcomb in second place on the list of most frequent Australian Open men’s singles quarterfinalists.

Roger Federer has topped the quarterfinals 15 times. Nadal has made it to the last eight of a Grand Slam tournament for the 45th time and is third on the all-time list behind Federer (58) and Novak Djokovic (51). Federer, Djokovic and Nadal currently hold the same record 20 men’s singles Grand Slam titles. Of these three, only Nadal is playing in the Australian Open. Top ranked player in women’s singles Ash Barty reached the quarterfinals here for the fourth consecutive year.

She registered a 6-4, 6-3 win over Amanda Anisimova of America. Anisimova had upset defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round. Barty defeated Anisimova in the semi-finals of the 2019 French Open and then won her first Grand Slam title. Barty won her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year. Barty will now face 21st seed Jessica Pegula, who defeated fifth seed Maria Sakari 7-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. French Open champion Barbara Krejcikova defeated two-time champion Viktoria Azarenka in straight sets in the fourth round.

Fourth seed Krejcikova defeated 2012 and 2013 champion Azarenka 6-2, 6-2 in just 85 minutes at the Rode Laver Arena. Krjcikova has made it to the quarterfinals for the third time in four Grand Slam events. In the next round, Krejcikova will face 2017 US Open champion Madison Keys, who knocked out eighth seed Paula Badosa 6-3, 6-1 in straight sets. Twenty-fourth seed Azarenka made 28 spontaneous mistakes against Krejcikova and lost her serve five times.

Krejcikova got off to a good start by breaking Azarenka’s serve in the third and seventh games of the first set. Krejcikova broke Azarenka’s serve in the first game of the second set and then registered an easy win. She did not look disturbed even in the temperature of 34 degree Celsius. In other men’s matches, Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini scored a 7-5, 7-6, 6-4 victory over 19th seed Pablo Carreo Busta in the final match of the seventh day. Seventh-seeded Berrettini has now advanced to the quarterfinals of all four tennis majors and will face Gail Monfils, who defeated Miomir Kesmanovic 7-5, 7-6, 6-3.