Journeyman Diego Schwartzman gave Rafael Nadal a run for his money in their fourth-round Australian Open encounter. Nadal eventually got over the line winning 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 in just under four hours. Nadal has now reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the tenth time.
Schwartzman started strongly against his Spanish opponent. The 5’6” Argentine held his own against the heavy hitting from Nadal and was able to stick with the Spaniard for most of the first set. The experienced Nadal eventually broke Schwartzman’s serve and took the opening set 6-3.
However, the Argentine was able to improve on his performance in the second set. Schwartzman started to turn defence into offence and came up with some unbelievable shots against the World No. 1. A tiebreak was required to decide the second set. The 24th seed was too strong for Nadal producing his best tennis to capture the tiebreak and second set.
Nadal came back even stronger in the third set and looked to stamp his authority on the match. An early break did just this as Nadal was able to power his way to a 2 sets to 1 lead over the journeyman.
Schwartzman looked to be tiring slightly and Nadal took full advantage. The Spaniard broke Schwartzman in the second game of the fourth set after a 13-minute tussle. Both players knew the importance of this game as it seemed to swing momentum fully into Nadal’s favour. The 31-year-old proved to be too much for the Argentine as he secured the fourth set 6-3.
Nadal will now face the in-form Marin Cilic for a spot in the semi-finals. Cilic has only lost two sets en route to the quarter-finals, so this matchup between two of the world’s best players looks to be very enticing.
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