Nadal, Raonic, Others Hit Q’finals

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Former champion, Rafael Nadal reached the 2017 Australian Open quarter-finals with a hard-fought four-set victory over Gael Monfils.

The 30-year-old Spaniard, who is seeded ninth and won the tournament in 2009, beat the Frenchman 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-4.
Nadal will face third seed Milos Raonic – who beat Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut – in the last eight tomorrow..
Canadian Raonic, the highest seed left in the men’s singles, came through 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-4 6-1 against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.

Grigor Dimitrov beat injury-hit Denis Istomin to progress, and will face David Goffin, who overcame eighth seed Dominic Thiem.
Nadal, who has struggled with injuries, is seeking his first major since claiming his 14th Grand Slam at the 2014 French Open.

He had difficulty converting break points – six of 17 – but clinched victory over Monfils with his second match point, on the sixth seed’s serve.
The Spaniard had cruised through the first two sets, but lost the third and was a break down in the fourth before sealing victory in two hours and 56 minutes.

“Now I feel a little bit tired. But probably tomorrow [Tuesday] a bit better and hopefully after tomorrow perfect,” said Nadal, who is in his 30th major quarter-final, but first since Paris in 2015.
“Against Milos Raonic I just need to play very, very well. He is the third player in the world, he beat me a couple of weeks ago in Brisbane and is a top player with an amazing serve.”

Wimbledon finalist Raonic, 26, has reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne for the third consecutive year.
Playing with a high fever, he rallied from 5-1 down in the first-set tie-breaker to win the opening set, but was then broken twice in the second.

The 13th seed Bautista Agut then began to falter in the third set, when the roof at Hisense Arena was closed because of rain, and he later had to call for a trainer for a leg problem.
Raonic duly took the third set and needed only 26 minutes to see out the fourth to win the match.
“I was very fortunate to get through,” said Raonic, who hit 75 winners but also 55 unforced errors, including nine double faults.

“There were moments where it wasn’t looking so good.”
Bulgarian 15th seed Dimitrov, 25, came from behind to win 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 6-1 as Novak Djokovic’s conqueror Istomin struggled with a leg problem.

Istomin, the bespectacled world number 117 from Uzbekistan, showed the effects of a demanding tournament.
“Denis deserves all the credit for an unbelievable tournament, he has been on fire and he was striking the ball so well early in the match,” said Dimitrov.

Goffin had earlier become the first Belgian man to reach the Melbourne last eight by beating Austrian Thiem.
The 26-year-old 11th seed won 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2 in soaring temperatures.
Meanwhile, Johanna Konta faces the toughest task in tennis to beat Serena Williams, but she may have a secret weapon.
Konta’s new coach Wim Fissette has guided all four of his previous charges to victories over Williams, and claims he knows how to make the Briton his fifth.

Under Fissette, Kim Clijsters ousted Williams en route to winning the US Open in 2009, Sabine Lisicki beat her at Wimbledon in 2013, Simona Halep conceded just two games when she won at the WTA Championships in 2014 and last year, Victoria Azarenka overcame the American in the final at Indian Wells.


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