Rafael Nadal survived an epic 28-minute tiebreak to seal his spot in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and top seed Ashleigh Barty joined him with victory over giant-killer Amanda Anisimova on Sunday.
Nadal will now face Canada’s 14th seed Denis Shapovalov after he stunned third seed and Olympic champion Alexander Zverev — who said “every-thing” went wrong.
Nadal, who is chasing a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title, was pushed all the way by Adrian Mannarino in an 81-minute first set before breaking the Frenchman’s resolve in a 7-6 (16-14), 6-2, 6-2 victory.
“The first set was very emotional,” said the 35-year-old Nadal, the 2009 Australian Open cham-pion, who pumped his fists after emerging victori-ous from a marathon first-set tiebreak on a steamy day in Melbourne. “That crazy first set was so im-portant.”
The Spaniard, who dropped a set for the first time in the tournament before powering past Rus-sia’s Karen Khachanov in the previous round, will now face Shapovalov in the last eight. —AFP