Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Australian Open: Rafael Nadal quashes Kei Nishikori threat to reach quarter-finals

Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan during their men's singles match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 20, 2014. REUTERS
Reuters | Melbourne | Posted: January 20, 2014 3:22 pm | Updated: January 20, 2014 3:25 pm

A ruffled Rafa Nadal fumed at the chair umpire after being called for multiple time violations on serve but composed himself to fend off a gallant Kei Nishikori and reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Monday.

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Top seed Nadal had come hurtling into the match with a brutal demolition of Gael Monfils, but encountered a far different beast in 16th seeded Japanese, who broke his serve for the first time in the tournament and rattled the Spaniard in a 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 7-6 (7-3) loss at Rod Laver Arena.

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Battling fatigue, the impressive Nishikori rallied from 4-1 down to serve for the third set but Nadal broke back to force the high-quality clash into a second tense tiebreak.

The weary Nishikori belted a shot long to give Nadal three match points and the Spaniard sealed it on the first to set up a quarter-final with 22nd seed Grigor Dimitrov.

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