Rafa gets past Nick, advances

    MELBOURNE. — Rafael Nadal struggled past hometown bet Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4) on Monday and advanced into the men’s single quarterfinals of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

    The Spanish top seed needed more than three hours in dispatching Kyrgios, seeded No. 23, much to the dismay of the gallery who witnessed the riveting match and were hoping for an upset by the mercurial Australian.

    Earlier, former champion Stan Wawrinka emerged from a mid-match loss of confidence to battle past Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev and reach the last eight with a 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 victory.

    Medvedev, 23, arrived in Melbourne after a 2019 season featuring four titles and a Tour-leading 59 match wins and came into Monday’s contest against Wawrinka, having won both career meetings at Grand Slams in four sets.

    But the Russian failed to find a way past the battling 2014 Australian Open champion, ending up the highest seed to fall in the men’s draw so far.

    Wawrinka, who won the last of his three Grand Slam titles at the 2016 US Open, hit a staggering 71 winners and sealed the contest after three hours and 25 minutes.

    “This was another amazing match, really tough to play against Daniil, I lost to him in US Open but today came back strongly on the fourth and fifth sets,” he said.

    “The level was super high and it was a great atmosphere. It’s amazing to keep playing here, I’m really happy to be able to continue to play at this level here and I’m looking forward to the quarter-final.” – Reuters