AUS OPEN: Nadal, Medvedev, Barty, Karolina in last 8

Melbourne, Feb 15 (IANS) | Publish Date: 2/15/2021 1:28:08 PM IST

World number two Rafael Nadal on Monday entered the Australian Open quarter-finals for the 13th time after getting past Fabio Fognini in their fourth round contest.

Nadal, the 2009 champion, registered a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over the Italian No. 16 seed in two hours and 16 minutes at the Rod Laver Arena.The 34-year-old is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to clinch each of the four major championships on two or more occasions.

He will next face fifth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who received a walkover after No. 9 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy withdrew due to an abdominal strain.

Earlier in the day, fourth seed Daniil Medvedev also booked his place in the quarter-finals after a commanding straight-sets win over Mackenzie McDonald. Medvedev beat the 25-year-old American 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in his fourth-round match that lasted an hour and 29 minutes at the Margaret Court Arena. He will face Andrey Rublev in what can be a blockbuster quarter-final clash on Wednesday.

Medvedev can now face Andrey Rublev -- who takes on Casper Ruud in the fourth round -- in what can be a blockbuster quarter-final clash.

With the win, Medvedev had moved into his third Grand Slam quarter-final, and his first away from the US Open. He is looking to become Russia’s first male Grand Slam champion since Marat Safin won the Australian Open in 2005.

Top-ranked Ash Barty moved into the Australian Open quarterfinals for the third straight year by beating Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-4.

Barty lost in the semifinals last year to eventual champion Sofia Kenin and didn’t play another major tournament in 2020 after deciding to stay in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She had two match points in the eighth game of the second set but made four consecutive errors. Rogers capitalized to break and then hold and force Barty to again serve for the match.

Barty made no mistakes the second time when she held at love to close it out. Barty is aiming to be the first Australian woman since 1978 to win the Australian title. She will next play No. 25 Karolina Muchova.

Muchova rallied from 5-2 down in the first set to upset 18th-seeded Elise Mertens 7-6 (5), 7-5.

Mertens won the Gippsland Trophy tuneup tournament at Melbourne Park before the Australian Open started and won the first four games against Muchova but then started to tighten up as the Czech player found her range with her big ground strokes.

Muchova is into the quarterfinals at a major for the second time.



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