Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 May 2019

Australian Open updates: Imperious Rafael Nadal marches into semi-finals

A round-up of all the quarter-final matches at Melbourne Park on Tuesday

Rafael Nadal, who is vying for a second Australian Open title, beat Frances Tiafoe on Tuesday. Aly Song / Reuters
Rafael Nadal, who is vying for a second Australian Open title, beat Frances Tiafoeย on Tuesday. Aly Song / Reuters

One-time champion Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal beat Frances Tiafoe to reach the semi-finals of the season's first major on Tuesday.

The Spaniard beat American Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to set up a last-four clash with the in-form Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Unseeded Tiafoe, 21, had shocked fifth seed Kevin Anderson and Grigor Dimitrov, seeded 20, but the 17-time grand slam champion proved too formidable for the popular American in his first major quarter-final.

The Spanish No 2 seed sprinted through in 107 minutes.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic proved too strong for Australia's Ashleigh Barty on Tuesday. Edgar Su / Reuters
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic proved too strong for Australia's Ashleigh Barty on Tuesday. Edgar Su / Reuters

Emotional Kvitova reaches semis

Eighth seed Petra Kvitova powered past local hope Ashleigh Barty to make the semi-finals in the Czech's best grand slam performance since she was injured in a terrifying knife attack.

The two-time Wimbledon champion broke down in tears after defeating Barty 6-1, 6-4 to set up a final four clash with unseeded American Danielle Collins.

"Thank you guys, I didn't really imagine being back in this great stadium again to play with the best. It's great," said the 28-year-old left-hander, who was attacked in her home in the Czech Republic in late 2016.

Kvitova required extensive surgery after the burglar slashed her racquet hand, leaving her with permanent nerve damage, but she has put together one of the best winning streaks of her career this year.

Danielle Collins reached her first grand slam semi-finals after beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Danielle Collins reached her first grand slam semi-finals after beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Collins flies under the radar

Unseeded American Danielle Collins battled from behind to down Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and take her dream debut at Melbourne into the semi-finals.

Collins beat world No 44 Pavlyuchenkova 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in a seesawing match to set up a final four clash with Czech eighth seed Karolina Pliskova.

The world No 35, who has ousted three seeds on her way to the final four, said she was relishing playing on the big stage.

"Yeah it's my first time to play on Rod Laver [Arena]," she said. "I didn't even practice on here. It was quite the experience. I really love it."

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts after winning the match against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut. Adnan Abidi / Reuters
Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts after winning the match against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut. Adnan Abidi / Reuters

Victorious Tsitsipas living a dream

Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas showed resilience and maturity to reach his first grand slam semi-finals with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 win over Roberto Bautista Agut.

Roger Federer's conqueror had to contend with dropping his serve early in each of the first three sets to the Spanish 22nd seed before coming through in 3hr 15min.

"It all feels like a fairytale almost," he said after holding his head in his hands in disbelief and sinking to the floor on Rod Laver Arena. "I'm just living the dream, living what I've been working hard for."

"I feel a bit emotional but not too much โ€“ I know I really worked hard to get here, playing in semis of a grand slam.

"I was asked my goals this year and said semis Grand Slam. And when I was answering this question, I thought I was crazy. But it is real. It just happened."

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Read more:

Novak Djokovic relieved to get through 'physical battle' with Daniil Medvedev

'Fighter' Serena Williams battles past Simona Halep to reach quarter-finals

Roger Federer denies changing of guard despite Stefanos Tsitsipas defeat

Maria Sharapova refuses to give up grand slam ambitions after making exit

Rafael Nadal wary of 'dangerous' Frances Tiafoe ahead of their huge clash

Updated: January 22, 2019 04:04 PM

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