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Rafael Nadal through to Australian Open quarter-finals

AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Venue: Melbourne Park Date: 18-31 January
BBC coverage: Every Murray match live on BBC 1 or 2
Daily from 0830 GMT: live on BBC Red Button/website, 5 Live sports extra
Daily from 0000 GMT: text commentary on BBC Sport website


Rafael Nadal
Nadal has not won a title since lifting the Rome Masters in May 2009

Defending champion Rafael Nadal beat Ivo Karlovic 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-4 to book a quarter-final meeting with Britain's Andy Murray at the Australian Open.

Second seed Nadal rallied after losing the second set to claim a commanding victory over the 6ft 10ins Karlovic.

The Spaniard has won seven of his nine matches against Murray, who overcame John Isner and is yet to drop a set.

"Being in the quarter-final gives a lot of me confidence but I've got a really difficult match against Andy," he said.

"He's one of the more talented players on the tour. He can play aggressive, play offensive.

"I will try to play aggressive and play behind the line but if I don't do that then I will have a flight home."

Nadal faced a stiff challenge in the form of Karlovic but succeeded in negating the Croat's booming serve and secured his passage with relative comfort.

Despite seeing the world number 39 send down 27 aces, Nadal's power and variety proved the difference and he will take heart from the way his game came together in the second and third sets.

The Spaniard had to bide his time before breaking in game nine of the first set but he then easily served out.

Karlovic, however, came out fighting in the second set and stunned Nadal by levelling the match with a break to love in game 10.

A brilliant forehand pass by Nadal gave him a decisive early break in the third, while a Karlovic double fault in the corresponding game in the fourth handed the Spaniard another telling break.

Boosted by his healthy ace-count, Karlovic hit 55 winners to Nadal's 35 but the world number two made only 15 unforced errors compared to his opponent's 42.

"I know how tough Ivo is," said Nadal, who beat Roger Federer in the 2009 final to claim his sixth Grand Slam title.

"If he serves well you can do nothing. I stayed focused and relaxed and tried my best."



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see also
Australian Open day seven photos
24 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Del Potro goes out in epic battle
24 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Supreme Murray reaches quarters
24 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis


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