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Nadal, Raonic, Dimitrov and Goffin into last eight

first_imgRAFAEL Nadal reached the Australian Open tennis quarter-finals yesterday with a hard-fought four-set victory over Gael Monfils.The 30-year-old Spaniard, who is seeded ninth and won the tournament in 2009, beat the Frenchman 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.Nadal will face third seed Milos Raonic – who beat Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut – in the last eight on Wednesday.Canadian Raonic, the highest seed left in the men’s singles, came through 7-6(8-6), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.Grigor Dimitrov beat injury-hit Denis Istomin to progress, and will face David Goffin, who overcame eighth seed Dominic Thiem.Nadal, who has struggled with injuries, is seeking his first major since claiming his 14th Grand Slam at the 2014 French Open.He had difficulty converting break points – six of 17 – but clinched victory over Monfils with his second match point, on the sixth seed’s serve.The Spaniard had cruised through the first two sets, but lost the third and was a break down in the fourth before sealing victory in two hours and 56 minutes.“Now I feel a little bit tired. But probably tomorrow (Tuesday) a bit better and hopefully after tomorrow perfect,” said Nadal, who is in his 30th major quarter-final, but first since Paris in 2015.Wimbledon finalist Raonic, 26, has reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne for the third consecutive year.Playing with a high fever, he rallied from 5-1 down in the first-set tie-breaker to win the opening set, but was then broken twice in the second.The 13th seed Bautista Agut then began to falter in the third set, when the roof at Hisense Arena was closed because of rain, and he later had to call for a trainer for a leg problem.Raonic duly took the third set and needed only 26 minutes to see out the fourth to win the match.“I was very fortunate to get through,” said Raonic, who hit 75 winners but also 55 unforced errors, including nine double faults.“There were moments when it wasn’t looking so good.”Bulgarian 15th seed Dimitrov, 25, came from behind to win 2-6, 7-6(7-2), 6-2, 6-1 as Novak Djokovic’s conqueror Istomin struggled with a leg problem.Istomin, the bespectacled world number 117 from Uzbekistan, showed the effects of a demanding tournament.“Denis deserves all the credit for an unbelievable tournament. He has been on fire and he was striking the ball so well early in the match,” said Dimitrov.Goffin had earlier become the first Belgian man to reach the Melbourne last eight by beating Austrian Thiem.The 26-year-old 11th seed won 5-7, 7-6(7-4), 6-2, 6-2 in soaring temperatures. (BBC Sport)last_img read more

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