Nadal defeats Schwartzman, to face Cilic in Australian Open quarters
Melbourne: Spain’s Rafael Nadal on Sunday defeated Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-3, clinching a place in the Australian Open quarterfinals.
During three hour and 51 minute match, both players faced 18 break points but world No. 1 Nadal managed to save 15 and to convert seven, reports Efe.
“That’s confidence for myself – knowing that I can resist almost four hours on court at a good intensity, so quarterfinals already. I’m very happy for that,” Nadal said later.
On his third match point, Nadal hit a back-hand winner to seal the victory, advancing to the quarterfinals for the 10th time.
Despite firing just four winners and committing nine unforced errors, Nadal managed to win the first set, saving four break points he faced while he seized one of three opportunities.
The second set saw six breaks, three apiece, with Nadal dropping his first-ever set in his 2018 Australian Open campaign after losing the tiebreak.
One break point was enough for Nadal to clinch the third set, after fending off the two opportunities he faced.
Again, Nadal proved to be decisive in the important moments, as he made the most of two out of six break points and shrugged off seven opportunities to seal the fourth set and the win.
With this victory, Nadal secured the ATP ranking’s top spot after the tournament, regardless of his results.
Seeking his second Australian Open title after his 2009 success, Nadal is set to play Marin Cilic of Croatia, who defeated Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busta 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-0), 7-6 (7-3).