Rafael Nadal overcame a spirited performance from Karen Khachanov to reach the Australian Open fourth round.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, targeting an outright men’s record 21st Grand Slam title, continued his progress with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 win over Russian 28th seed Karen Khachanov in Rod Laver Arena.
After the match, Rafa said:
It is a very special week for me, every time I am able to play here is a very special thing. I played against a great player and a good friend on tour, it has been my best match since I came back.”
On recovering from his foot injury:
For the moment yes, I have been going through some very tough times the last year and a half but for me nights like today mean everything, that is a lot of energy in my pocket to keep going.
I am super happy, thank you very much everybody.
Rafa will face either Adrian Mannarino or Aslan Karatsev for a place in the quarterfinals.