Rafael Nadal was clinical in the way he dismantled big-serving world No. 3 Milos Raonic in straight sets to enter the semifinal of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Wednesday. Nadal, chasing his 15th Grand Slam title, won 6-4, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 in the quarterfinal match at the Rod Laver Arena. He will play Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the final four. Nadal returned to the Grand Slam big-time by weathering a furious Gael Monfils fightback to win 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and reach the Australian Open quarterfinals on Monday. Get highlights and tennis score of Rafael Nadal vs Milos Raonic match here. (Where to see live streaming)
5:14 pm IST: Rafael Nadal gets a tad emotional after his victory over World No 3 Raonic. He recalled the tough times he has endured over the course of his long and illustrious career. “When you have doubts you feel ready to work more. I’ve had a great career but lots of tough moments,” said the former World No 1.
5:09 pm IST: Oh yes, Rafael Nadal is back! The Spaniard hit 40 winners in the straight sets win over Milos Raonic at the Rod Laver Arena.
5:02 pm IST: Rafael Nadal made it look easy against the World No. 3 Milos Raonic. He won in straight sets in just 2 hours and 44 minutes, the second set being the marathon one taking 81 minutes.
4:55 pm IST: Rafael Nadal wins the match 6-4, 7-6(9-7), 6-4 to go through to the semis. He’ll face Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the last four.
4:51 pm IST: And Rafael Nadal’s won it! Milos Raonic with a forehand volley-forced error and the Spaniard takes the set 6-4 and the match!
4:49 pm IST: Three match points for Rafael Nadal on Milos Raonic serve.
4:47 pm IST: Rafa slams his 4th ace of the match to take the game and lead 5-4. Dominant show from the Spaniard who doesn’t drop a point in that game. Raonic to serve to stay in the match.
4:45 pm IST: An unforced error from Nadal as Raonic holds his serve and levels the tie at 4-4 in the third set.
4:40 pm IST: Rafael Nadal holds serve. Goes 4-3 up in the third set. Milos Raonic’s return clips the top of the net and goes out yet again. Unlucky!
4:36 pm IST: Milos Raonic with a service winner to level things with Rafael Nadal at 3-3 in the third set.
4:30 pm IST: Raonic’s backhand return lands wide. Nadal holds serve and leads 3-2 in the third set.
4:26 pm IST: Nadal smashes the backhand on to the net and Raonic has now managed to level the tie at 2-2 in the third set.
4:22 pm IST: A brilliant cross court winner from Nadal to take the game and lead 2-1 in the third set. The Spaniard is on fire!
4:21 pm IST: A backhand volley winner from Raonic to hold his serve. It’s 1-1 in the third set at the Rod Laver Arena
4:17 pm IST: Nadal starts the third set on a dominating note. Holds his serve without dropping a point. 1-0 to the Spaniard.
4:13 pm IST: Milos Raonic’s return clips the top of the net and lands wide. Nadal leads 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) in the match after two sets.The second set lasted for 81 minutes! What a gruelling battle between the two.
4:11 pm IST: A bit of luck as Rafa takes the set 7-6, winning the tie-breaker 9-7.
4:10 pm IST: A shoddy return from Raonic on to the net. Rafa leads 8-7. Raonic to serve
4:09 pm IST: And Raonic send the return wide. He’s missed out on a set point yet again as Rafa draws level. 7-7
4:08 pm IST: Raonic takes the lead with his second serve. 7-6 for the Canadian. It’s set point for him with Rafa to serve
4:07 pm IST: Nadal manages to hold on. A double fault from Raonic. It’s 6-6 in second set tie-breaker.
4:06 pm IST: Raonic sends the return wide. It’s 6-5 for the Canadian who will now serve for the set.
4:05 pm IST: A brilliant lofted shot from Raonic. The Canadian with a set point now. It’s 6-4 in second set tie-breaker. Nadal to serve.
4:04 pm IST: Nadal pulls one back. It’s 5-4 with the Spaniard to serve.
4:03 pm IST: Raonic manages to break Nadal’s serve with a backhand volley winner. He will serve now; leads 5-3 in tie-breaker.
4:00 pm IST: Nadal’s return goes wide. Raonic draws level at 2-2 in 2nd set tie-breaker.
3:59 pm IST: It’s 2-1 at the end of the initial serves of tie-breaker. Both the players have managed to hold on to their individual serves. Raonic to serve.
3:57 pm IST: Two back to back aces from Nadal as he holds serve and takes the set to a tiebreak. It’s 6-6 in the second set at the Rod Laver Arena.
3:53 pm IST: Raonic holds on to his serve. He now leads 6-5 over Nadal in the third set.
3:50 pm IST: Rafael Nadal holds on. Despite Raonic getting three set points, the Canadian fails to take advantage. These can prove to be costly errors from the third seed.
3:48 pm IST: Rafael Nadal saves three set points before sealing the game and levelling second set 5-5.
3:42 pm IST: Terrific placement on that forehand winner from Milos Raonic as he holds on to his serve. Leads 5-4 in the second set. Rafael Nadal to serve to stay in the set.
3:37 pm IST: Rafa smashes a forehand winner and the set is back on level terms. 4-4 with Raonic to serve.
3:32 pm IST: An ace to seal the game by Raonic. The Canadian leads 4-3 at the end of the seventh game in the second set.
3:29 pm IST: Nadal holds serve. Scrambles his way through to level it at 3-3 in the second set.
3:25 pm IST: Raonic is back on court. He leads 3-2 in the second set. Nadal to serve the 6th game.
3:22 pm IST: A little bit of treatment off the court for Milos Raonic. He had been seen calling for the physio earlier in the set. Official confirmation: Milos Raonic has availed the medical time-out.
3:19 pm IST: Nadal’s return goes wide and Raonic holds his serve. It’s 3-2 in favour of the Canadian in the second set.
3:15 pm IST: Rafael Nadal with a beautiful cross court winner as he holds serve to level things back at 2-2 in the second set. Nadal took the first set 6-4. Get live updates here
3:11 pm IST: A wayward return from Nadal and Milos Raonic takes the lead once again. It’s 2-1 in the second set at the Rod Laver Arena.
3:07 pm IST: A shaky start from Nadal in the second set. Had allowed Raonic to come back on his serve after leading 40-30. The Canadian had also gone on to take the advantage but missed out on his first break point of the match. Five deuce points before Nadal levels things at 1-1.
2:57 pm IST: A positive start from the Canadian as he holds serve in the second set. 1-0 for the third seed.
2:50 pm IST: Nadal takes the first set 6-4. It wasn’t the best of returns from Raonic who managed to send a lofted return to Nadal and the Spaniard smashes it down the court.
2:46 pm IST: Raonic blasts his sixth ace of the match to keep the opening set alive. He still trails 5-4 and needs to break Rafa in the next game when the Spaniard serves for the set.
2:44 pm IST: Raonic smashes one back on the net and Rafa takes the game comfortably. It’s 5-3 in favour of the Spaniard at the Rod Laver Arena. Raonic has to hold serve if he wants to stay in the set.
2:38 pm IST: BROKEN! Nadal had two break points on Raonic’s serve this time and the Spaniard doesn’t waste it. He now leads 4-3 in the first set.
2:36 pm IST: Nadal sweeps up the sixth game without dropping a point. It’s level at 3-3 at the Rod Laver Arena.
2:31 pm IST: Nadal misses out on a break point as Raonic wins three consecutive points to go 3-2 up in the first set.
2:26 pm IST: Nadal holds serve. Although Raonic had hit a brilliant forehand winner to take the game to a deuce, but Nadal manages to hold on. It’s 2-2 with Raonic to serve.
2:19 pm IST: Easy win for Raonic in the third game. The Canadian hold serve, doesn’t drop a point and blasts an ace already! 2-1 for the third seed at the Rod Laver Arena
2:16 pm IST: No such scares for Nadal though. Holds his serve comfortably without dropping a point. Things back on level terms. 1-1
2:13 pm IST: Raonic starts off proceedings in fine fashion. Holds the first serve after Nadal forced the game to head to three deuce points. 1-0 to the Canadian!
2:04 pm IST: The players are out on the court now; warming up before the big match starts. It’ll be interesting to see what has Rafa learnt from his loss two weeks back and what has Raonic gained additionally.
2: 00 pm IST: Of their eight previous clashes, only once has Raonic managed to take a first set lead. In 2017, both hold a record of 6-1 on matches played on hard court surfaces.
1:57 pm IST: Although Raonic’s two victories have come on hard court surfaces, he’s been beaten five times on the same by Nadal.
1:53 pm IST: Nadal on playing Raonic: “Against Raonic I just need to play very, very well. He is the third player in the world; he beat me a couple of weeks ago in Brisbane and is a top player with an amazing serve.”
1:52 pm IST: This is the first time Raonic will take on Nadal in a Grand Slam tie.
1:50 pm IST: The players are warming up for their big match. The skipping rope is doing the needful. Footwork will be key today.
Milos Raonic’s booming serve will test Nadal’s returning powers. The world No. 2 Canadian had blasted 23 aces when Raonic beat Nadal in their most recent clash in Brisbane earlier this month.
However, Nadal has a 6-2 win-loss record against Raonic in international career matches so far.
Milos Raonic, yet to win his first major title, suffered heartbreak in last year’s Melbourne semi-finals when a groin injury put paid to his chances against Andy Murray.
He is in good shape this time, having battled flu-like symptoms and fever during the early rounds. Raonic has dropped just two sets in the tournament.
Raonic should pose Nadal his biggest problem yet in this year’s tournament, where the Spaniard is bidding to end a major title drought stretching back to the 2014 French Open.
The winner of the Raonic vs Nadal clash will face Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-final in the bottom half of the draw