Former champion Rafael Nadal and fourth seed Daniil Medvedev cruised into the Australian Open quarterfinals on Sunday. Spain’s Nadal registered a comfortable 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over 16th seed Italian Fabio Fognini at the Melbourne Park.
Meanwhile, Medvedev defeated world number 192 American Mackenzie McDonald 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 to bring up his 18th successive win. Nadal’s win implies he has reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the 43rd time.
Nadal yet to lose a set
Nadal, who is bidding for his first title since 2009, is yet to drop a set despite not being at this vintage best against his Italian opponent. His win in this match makes it the thirteenth time he has made it to the final eight of the first Grand Slam of the year. He now becomes the joint third highest on the all-time list behind Roger Federer and (15) and John Newcombe (14).
The result has also kept him on track to meet world number 1 Novak Djokovic for the titular clash.
Nadal will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last eight on Wednesday after the Greek received a walkover win in the fourth round post Matteo Berrettini of Italy withdrawing owing to an injury.
Russians achieve unique feat in Melbourne
Medvedev’s victory over his American opposition means that there are three Russians in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in the Open era. He only needed one hour and 29 minutes to defeat McDonald on the Margaret Court Arena. Medvedev will be up against compatriot Andrey Rublev, who was leading 6-2 7-6 (7-3) before his Norwegian opponent Casper Ruud retired with an injury.
Aslan Karatsev became the third Russian to reach the final eight with a 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over F Auger Aliassime on Sunday. A Russian is yet to lift a Grand Slam trophy since Marat Safin’s win in the Australian Open in 2005.