Melbourne: Top-seeded Rafael Nadal overcame a pesky Diego Schwartzman to beat the Argentinian 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 and advance to the Australian Open quarterfinals.
Nadal struggled at times against Schwartzman and needed 13 minutes to hold his serve in the second game of the fourth set when he saved five break points.
He saved all seven break points he faced in the final set — 15 of 18 in the match — then broke Schwartzman's serve in the final game, clinching it on his third match point.
Nadal will play sixth-seeded Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals as the Spaniard attempts to win his second Australian Open title and 17th Grand Slam singles championship.
Elise Mertens extended her winning streak to nine matches with a 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory over Petra Martic, reaching the quarterfinals in her first appearance in the Australian Open main draw.
After unsuccessfully serving for the match, Mertens broke Martic's service in the 11th game and then held to love in the last game.
Martic took a medical timeout to receive treatment from a trainer for a hip or upper thigh complaint after the fifth game of the second set.
Mertens, who successfully defended her Hobart International title last week, finished last year ranked 35th, up from No 120 in 2016.
In the quarterfinals, Mertens will play the winner of Sunday night's match between fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina and qualifier Denisa Allertova, who hasn't dropped a set in her three main-draw matches.
Edmund marches on
Kyle Edmund defeated Andreas Seppi 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 to advance to an Australian Open quarterfinal against either third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov or Nick Kyrgios.
It's the British player's first quarterfinal appearance in Melbourne and his best Grand Slam singles result.
Seppi received treatment on his right shoulder in the fourth set.
Dimitrov and Kyrgios had a night match on Rod Laver Arena. The start of their match was delayed by a late finish of the day program on the main arena at Melbourne Park.
Published Date: Jan 21, 2018 14:30 PM | Updated Date: Jan 21, 2018 14:30 PM