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Nadal Marches On In Melbourne

Nadal Marches On In Melbourne

Rafael Nadal continued his march through at the Australian Open with a straight-sets demolition of Frances Tiafoe. Nadal triumphed 6-3 6-4 6-2 in just an hour and 47 minutes, with the result never looking in doubt.

Tiafoe was playing in his first Grand Slam quarter-final but lost his own serve in the opening game of all three sets, which meant he was always on the back foot.

His second serve came under particular attack, with Tiafoe winning only 33 per cent of points played behind it.

In contrast, Nadal, who is yet to lose a set, held serve throughout the contest as he faced only two break points.

Afterwards, he spoke about how he had looked to improve his serve in the off-season and generally play more aggressively in order to reduce the toll on his body.

“I’ve been practising during the whole off-season, the serve and first shot, and during this event I’ve probably done it more times than ever – serve and winner with the first forehand,” Nadal said.

“That’s something that is very important for me, both today and if I want to keep playing for a few years. That gives me a lot of free points and that’s so important at this stage of my career.”

The Spaniard is bidding to become the first man in the Open era to win all four Grand Slam titles twice – he will complete the feat if he is victorious in Sunday’s final in Melbourne.

To reach it he will first have to overcome the challenge of Roger Federer’s conqueror, Stefanos Tsitsipas, who saw off Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets.

Nadal and Tsitsipas will meet on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

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