(AP) Rafael Nadal defeated Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in a fourth-round match at the Australian Open, advancing to his 30th Grand Slam quarterfinal.
After a match in which Rafa had difficulty converting break points – six of 17 – the Spanish lefthander clinched it on his second match point with Monfils serving.
2009 champ will next play third-seeded Milos Raonic.
After the match, Rafa said:
I am very happy to be back in the quarter-final of a Grand Slam without being there for a couple of years. The crowd here is always supporting me. I just want to say thank you very much to everybody.
Now, I am a little bit tired. But probably tomorrow I will be a little bit better and hopefully the day after perfect.
I just need to play very, very well [against Raonic]. He’s the third player in the world. He’s a top player with an amazing serve. I will need to wait for my opportunities. (via Australian Open)
This will be Rafa’s first Grand Slam quarter-final appearance in 20 months. His long-term girlfriend, Maria Francisca Perello, is with him in Australia for the first time and he joked “after 10 years my girlfriend finally gets a wild card”.