Australian Open Glance: Nadal-Thiem QF could be a long one
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A quick look at the Australian Open:
LOOKAHEAD TO WEDNESDAY
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal and fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem play a quarterfinal in a rematch of last year’s French Open final won in four sets by Nadal. But perhaps a better indicator of what to expect at Melbourne Park can be found in the only time they have met on hard courts in 13 previous matches — in the quarterfinals of the 2018 U.S. Open. That match was won by Nadal in five sets, the last two of them tiebreakers. It lasted 4 hours, 49 minutes and finished at 2:03 a.m. in New York. Nadal clinched victory when Thiem hit an overhead smash long on the first match point. The Spaniard jumped over the net to console Thiem and the pair embraced as those left inside Arthur Ashe Stadium gave them a standing ovation. Asked about how he got through the latter stages of the tense match, Nadal said at the time: “Suffering is the right word. It was a great battle.” I said to Dominic: ‘I’m very sorry and keep going.’ He has plenty of time to win. He will have his chances in the future,” Nadal said. That chance will come in a night match at Rod Laver Arena. In the other men’s quarterfinal, Alexander Zverev takes on 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka. Zverev has beaten Wawrinka in both previous meetings, both on hard courts. In women’s quarterfinals, Wimbledon champion Simona Halep plays Anett Kontaveit and two-time major winner Garbiñe Muguruza will try to reach the Australian Open semifinals for the first time when she plays Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Kontaveit has never played in a Grand Slam quarterfinal, and she credits coach Nigel Sears, who is Andy Murray’s father-in-law, with helping her get there. “It’s going really well with Nigel. I feel like my game is improving constantly,” Kontaveit said. The match on Rod Laver Arena will bring back not-so-pleasant memories for Sears. It was the same court where he collapsed in 2016 during a match between the now-retired Ana Ivanovic, who he was coaching, and Madison Keys. Sears blamed a “dodgy” piece of raw fish for the scary but short-term illness.
Mostly sunny, high of 28 Celsius ( (82 Fahrenheit).
Mostly sunny, high of 25 C (77 F)
Men’s quarterfinals: No. 2 Novak Djokovic beat No. 32 Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (1); No. 3 Roger Federer beat Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-3.
Women’s quarterfinals: No. 1 Ash Barty beat No. 7 Petra Kvitova 7-6 (6), 6-2; No. 14 Sofia Kenin beat Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-4.
STAT OF THE DAY: 7: number of match points saved in the fourth set by Roger Federer in his five-set quarterfinal win over Tennys Sandgren, equaling his personal record; Federer also saved seven against Scott Draper at Cincinnati in 2003.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Gotta get lucky sometime … I believe in miracles:” Federer on his great escape with Sandgren.