Nadal beats Mannarino to progress to quarter-finals of Australian Open
Rafael Nadal on Sunday continued his pursuit for the 21st Grand Slam of his career by reaching the quarter-finals of the 2022 Australian Open. He reached the last 8 by defeating France's Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (16-14), 6-2, 6-2 in a contest that lasted for two hours and 40 minutes at the Rod Laver Arena. It will be Nadal's 14th quarter-final appearance in the AO.
- Both Nadal and Mannarino started the contest on a competitive note by taking the first set to a tie-break.
- The tie-break was an intense affair as both players saved three points each to drag it to the seventh point.
- The former world number one finally wrapped the first set at 16-14 after winning the seventh point.
- Thereafter, he completely dominated the French star.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion hammered 16 aces in the match as compared to seven by Mannarino. The Spaniard (6) made two more double faults (4) than his opponent. Nadal won 66 service points and 41 receiving points while Mannarino collected just 22 receiving points while winning 63 service points. Nadal won five break points as compared to one by his rival.
Nadal, who has dropped just one set in AO so far, will next take on Russia's Denis Shapovalov. The 14th seeded Shapovalov confirmed his tie with Nadal by knocking out German star Alexander Zverev from the Australian Open in straight sets 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3.
After winning the match, Nadal said that he was "lucky." "I had my chances but then he had a lot of chances too. That crazy first set was so important and the service break at the beginning of the second set too," he said. "His ball was very difficult to control, very flat, very fast and I am happy that I survived," he added.
Zverev has crashed out of the Australian Open after losing to Shapovalov. Shapovalov produced a gritty display to record an upset at Margaret Court Arena. Both stars served three aces but Shapovalov (11) made more double faults than Zverev (8). The Russian won the only tie-break of the match and four breakpoints. Zverev won two of his five breakpoints.
Shapovalov said he is happy with where his game is at. "It's probably the one I least expected to finish in three," said Shapovalov in his on-court interview. "I'm very happy with my performance, definitely happy with where my game is at."