Melbourne, Jan 23:
Rafael Nadal struggled into his first Grand Slam quarter-final since 2015 at the Australian Open today, as Serena Williams accelerated towards a record title and the number one ranking.
Nadal, searching for a revival after injuries wrecked last season, was tested by France’s Gael Monfils before winning 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to book a last-eight clash with Milos Raonic.
Nadal, 30, was also pushed to five sets by Alexander Zverev, 19, in round three, but he has survived to reach his first major quarter-final since the 2015 French Open.
The Spanish world number nine now has an excellent chance to add to his 14 Grand Slam titles after world number one Andy Murray and title-holder Novak Djokovic were both knocked out.
“I’m very happy being in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam after a couple of years without being there,” he said. “It’s very special for me, especially here in Australia where I feel (it’s) a little bit like home.” (Agencies)