Nadal is intractable and back to show his best version

Rafa Nadal rejoiced after settling in the quarter-finals / AFP

Spaniard Rafael Nadal beat French Adrian Mannarino in consecutive rounds and qualified for the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, an example in which he will face (at dawn on Monday) Canadian Denis Shapovalov, surprising the German winner Alexander Zverev, the third Australian championship. the favorite.

Nadal, ranked 5 in the world, remains unstoppable in Melbourne, losing just one set in his third round match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov. Yesterday, he won 7-6 (14), 6-2, 6-2 in a match that put him on track after a long 28-minute break in the first round.

The Spanish legend, who aspires to win his twenty-first Grand Slam title to break the record he was currently sharing with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, admitted.

Nadal, the 2009 champion in Australia, avoided facing German Zverev (third), who fell to Shapovalov (14) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.

“I came to Australia with the goal of winning the tournament and eventually becoming the world number one. But if I play like that, I don’t deserve it. It’s that simple,” the German postulated self-criticism after his defeat.

The former Spanish top seed won three of the four Canadian matches he played on the ATP circuit: in the 2018 and 2021 Roma Masters 1000 and in the 2019 Davis Cup Finals, he only lost in the 2017 Canadian Masters.

The French Gael Monfils (17), the executioner of Argentine Federico Correa in the first round, also qualified for the quarter-finals after defeating Serbian Miomir Kekmanovic 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-3, which put an end to the “revenge”. His compatriot Djokovic after being deported from Australia for not being vaccinated against Covid-19.

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Monfils, who equaled his best all-time performance in Melbourne (2016), will seek a semi-final against Italian Matteo Peretti (seventh), who defeated Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta (19) 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6. 4 .

In the ladies branch

Among the women, Australian Ashleigh Barty (1st place) and Czech Barbora Krejsikova (4th) continued their path after defeating American Amanda Anisimova 6-4 6-3 and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 6-2 6-2, respectively.

Barty, looking for her first major title in her country, will take on American quarter-finalist Jessica Pegula, winner of Greece’s Maria Skari (5) 7-6 (0) 6-3; While Roland Garros champion Krijsikova will face American Madison Keys, who beat Spain’s Paula Badusa (8) 6-3 6-1.

Zebalos – Granollers are still fixed in pairs

Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos and Catalan Marcel Granollers beat Spain’s Pablo Andagar and Pedro Martinez 7-5 in the round of 16 of the Australian Open doubles championships.

The third-seeded duo at Melbourne Grand Slam will now be seeking a ticket to the semi-finals against the fifth-seeded duo, made up of Australian John Beers and Slovakian Philip Polasek, who easily beat Germans Kevin Krawetz and Andreas Mies 6-1, 6-2.

Zeballos, 36, ranked 6th in the world doubles rankings, equaled his best performance in the discipline in Melbourne, since reaching the quarter-finals in 2019 as partner of Poland’s Lukas Kopott.

In the same year, in partnership with the Spaniard Granollers, the man from Mar del Plata reached the final of the US Open, which to date is his best historical performance in the major tournaments.

Amber Cross

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