Melbourne, Australia, Feb 13 (efe’epa).- Second-seed Rafael Nadal of Spain, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and local favorite Ashleigh Barty advanced to the Australian Open 4th round, while Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova was sent home.
Nadal, who has yet to drop a set at Melbourne, recovered from a slow start to prevail over Briton Cameron Norrie 7-5, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 14 minutes to play Italy’s Fabio Fognini in the fourth round.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion conceded his serve halfway through the first set, but immediately broke back and sealed the set on Norrie’s serve. The Briton ran away with his first couple serve games but then the Spaniard, seeking out a second Australian Open title after his 2009 success, won four games in a row to double his lead.
Both players held serve throughout the third set, but Nadal once again broke Norrie’s serve in the 12th game to book a place in Aussie Open’s fourth round for the fifth time in a row.
Fourth-seed Medvedev squeezed into the last-16 round after a hard-fought win over Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0 in three hours and six minutes.
Having pocketed his first five-set victory, Medvedev, the 2020 ATP Finals champion, will face up against US’ Mackenzie McDonald for his first quarterfinal appearance.
Tsitsipas, the fifth seed, needed three set to get past Sweden’s Mikael Ymer for his second fourth-round appearance at Melbourne Park, where he will play Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, seeded No.19.
In women’s draw, top seed Barty kept alive her campaign for her maiden Grand Slam title on her turf and the second major title following the 2019 French Open triumph with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Russia’s Yekaterina Aleksandrova.
Barty lost the first couple games in the first set, a service break included, but then she won six games in a row to grab the lead. A similar scenario took place in the second as the Australian recovered from 4-2 down to seal the win.
The 24-year-old will play against US’ Shelby Rogers hoping to keep Australians dreaming of the first local singles champion since Chris O’Neil’s 1978 success.