Australian Open 2017: Rafael Nadal beats Alexander Zverev in five-set epic | tennis | Hindustan Times
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Australian Open 2017: Rafael Nadal beats Alexander Zverev in five-set epic

Australian Open 2017 live: Rafael Nadal clinched an epic five-set match against Alexnader Zverev to enter the fourth round. He defeated the German 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 in a match that lasted close to four hours. Relive all highlights of Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev match here

tennis Updated: Jan 21, 2017 14:56 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Rafael Nadal entered the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 win over Alexander Zverev. Catch live updates of Australian Open 2017 here.
Rafael Nadal entered the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 win over Alexander Zverev. Catch live updates of Australian Open 2017 here.(Hindustan Times)

Rafael Nadal survived an epic five-set match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev to enter the fourth round of the Australian Open. The Spaniard came out on top in this four-hour marathon to defeat the 24th seed 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 to enter the next stage. Relive all highlights of Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev match here. (Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev Live Streaming)

Rafael Nadal defeated Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 to enter the fourth round of the Australian Open. (AP)

14:55 hrs IST: After his victory, in a chat on the court-side with former American champion Jim Courier, Nadal had nothing but praise for Zverev

14:48 hrs IST: Nadal was made to work every inch of the way and he progresses to the fourth round with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 win over the German. Well played.

14:44 hrs IST: Nadal has done it. He raises the arms in victory and pumps his fists in joy as he clinches the set 6-2 and the match to enter the next round. Brave effort from Zverev but the Spaniard held his nerve.

14:39 hrs IST: Nadal breaks and he will serve for the match. Nadal 5, Zverev 2.

14:32 hrs IST: Roberto Bautista Agut has entered the fourth round with a four-set win. Nadal, meanwhile, is staring at a break of serve again.

14:28 hrs IST: Nadal easily holds serve. Zverev looks very deflated. Nadal 4, Zverev 2.

14:25 hrs IST: Nadal has broken Zverev’s serve again. The German trudges off slowly. He probably feels he has blown it. Nadal 3, Zverev 2.

14:19 hrs IST: Zverev almost holds serve but fails to close it out. Nadal gets a break point chance but he finds the net. Vital game this for both.

14:15 hrs IST: Now, Nadal gets broken. It is once again anybody’s game. What a match! Nadal 2, Zverev 2.

14:13 hrs IST: Danger signal for Nadal as he is down 15-40 in the fourth game. However, he saves one with a marvellous forehand. Zverev can level things again after holding his serve.

14:08 hrs IST: Denis Istomin, who defeated Novak Djokovic in the second round, has entered the fourth round of the Australian Open.

14:04 hrs IST: Nadal holds his serve. He is slowly getting into that zone where he can comfortably close out the match. Nadal 2, Zverev 0.

Rafael Nadal clinched the fourth set and got off to a great start in the fifth set against Alexander Zverev (AP)

13:59 hrs IST: Nadal starts the fifth set in style as he breaks Zverev in the opening game. Big blow for the German. Nadal 1, Zverev 0.

13:53 hrs IST: Nadal lets out a roar of joy as he levels the game again. Clinches the fourth set 6-3 and the match is tied 2-2.

13:52 hrs IST: Great play from Nadal and Zverev. Nadal is hitting those ground strokes deep in to the baseline while Zverev is covering the court well. 30-30 in the Nadal serve.

13:50 hrs IST: Zverev holds and Nadal has a chance to clinch the set. Nadal 5, Zverev 3.

13:46 hrs IST: Another tough game but Zverev’s unforced errors pile up. Nadal 5, Zverev 2

13:44 hrs IST: Shot of the match so far. Zverev tries the lob but Nadal leaps and back smashes it to gain the point. The crowd are on their feet.

13:40 hrs IST: Zverev holds serve but Nadal is closing in on taking this to a fifth set. Nadal 4, Zverev 2.

Rafael Nadal endured some tough moments but he hung on and took a lead in the fourth set. (AP)

13:33 hrs IST: After a 10-minute game, an unforced error from Zverev gives Nadal the hold of serve. Nadal 4, Zverev 1.

13:30 hrs IST: Zverev creams a backhand down the line at the left of Nadal to get a break point but the Spaniard saves it with a wide serve. After an intense passage of groundstrokes, Nadal gets advantage but misses it with an unforced error.

13:23 hrs IST: Zverev gets off the mark in the fourth set. Nadal 3, Zverev 1.

13:19 hrs IST: Nadal extends his advantage in the fourth set. Zverev looking tired. Nadal 3, Zverev 0.

13:16 hrs IST: Nadal’s aggression has doubled up in this fourth set as he break Zverev to take a lead in the fourth set. Nadal 2, Zverev 0.

13:13 hrs IST: Zverev was staring at two break points but he saves them in style. Good serve under pressure. Nadal not giving up.

13:11 hrs IST: Nadal holds in the fourth game. But, Zverev has impressed one and all with his aggression. Nadal 1, Zverev 0 in fourth set.

13:08 hrs IST: Zverev is pumped up as he wins the third set tie-breaker 7-5 to clinch the set. He is leading by two sets to one. Will it be possible to stage a massive upset?

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - 21/1/17 Germany's Alexander Zverev hits a shot during his Men's singles third round match against Spain's Rafael Nadal. REUTERS/Thomas Peter (REUTERS)

13:01 hrs IST: Nothing to seperate both players. It is 5-5 in the tie-break.

13:00 hrs IST: Topsy-turvy fortunes n the tie-break. Now, Zverev breaks Nadal’s serve and he takes a 4-3 lead.

12:57 hrs IST: Absolute brilliance from Nadal. He ensures that Zverev’s forehand and backhand are not put away due to his fast pace across the court and he cannot hold on. Nadal takes 3-2 lead in tie-break.

12:55 hrs IST: Zverev gets the mini-break as Nadal pushes a forehand wide. He leads 2-1 in the tie-break.

12:51 hrs IST: Nervous times for Nadal. He is 30-30 on his serve. Will he get bailed out again or will Zverev capitalise? Nadal holds and the third set is headed for a tie-breaker.

12:46 hrs IST: In other Tennis action, Martina Hingis has crashed out of the woman’s doubles encounter. Back to this match, Zverev holds serve comprehensively. Nadal 5, Zvereve 6

12:45 hrs IST: Nervous times for Nadal. He is 30-30 on his serve and any slip up could see him lose the set. He holds on as the third set becomes more intense. Nadal 5, Zverev 5.

12:41 hrs IST: Nervous hold for Zverev but Nadal is piling on the pressure. Zverev 5, Nadal 4.

Rafael Nadal built pressure on Alexander Zverev in the third set but failed to capitalise. (REUTERS)

12:37 hrs IST: Nadal was staring at a break point that would have proved fatal. Zverev tries a volley at the net but Nadal’s return is spot on and he saves it. Nadal 4, Zverev 4.

12:31 hrs IST: Solid service from Zverev. Nadal unable to get a foothold. Nadal 3, Zverev 4.

12:28 hrs IST: Brilliant forehand from Nadal on the right side of the court as he holds serve. Nadal 3, Zverev 3.

12:24 hrs IST: Zverev holds serve with an ace down the T. Both players not giving an inch. Nadal 2, Zverev 3

12:19 hrs IST: Nadal holds his serve without any glitches. The highlight in the game was one magnificent drop shot to level things up again. Nadal 2, Zverev 2.

12:16 hrs IST: After a long eight-minute game, Zvereve holds serve. Nadal 1, Zverev 2.

12:12 hrs IST: Intense third game going on. Zverev is struggling to hold serve but Nadal is unable to capitalise. Who will break under pressure?

12:08 hrs IST: Nadal holds his serve and it is all equal in the third set. Nadal 1, Zverev 1.

12:03 hrs IST: Good start for Zverev in the third set as he holds serve. This will be a make or break set for both players. Nadal 0, Zverev 1.

Rafael Nadal bounced back by winning the second set 6-3 after losing the first set 4-6. (AP)

11:58 hrs IST: Nadal clinches the set 6-3 and it is all level in Melbourne. The scoreline currently between Nadal and Zverev is 4-6, 6-3.

11:55 hrs IST: Zverev holds but Nadal will serve for the set. Nadal 5, Zverev 3. Meanwhile, have a look at what Nadal’s experiences in Melbourne have been.

11:53 hrs IST: Nadal faces set point. Will he break Zverev and put himself in a good position for the third set? No, he can’t as a loopy second serve from Zverev forces an error from Nadal.

11:50 hrs IST: The relentless pressure has got to Zverev. He commits an unforced error and Nadal extends the lead. Nadal 5, Zverev 2

11:48 hrs IST: Brilliant court coverage by Nadal. Zverev drags Nadal far to the left with a backhand and charges the net, the Spaniard responds with the perfect passing shot and Zverev hits it to the net.

11:44 hrs IST: Zverev holds serve but Nadal is firmly in front in this set. Nadal 4, Zverev 2

11:42 hrs IST: Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki has been dumped out in the third round with a 3-6, 1-6 loss to Britain’s Johanna Konta.

Rafael Nadal started the second set well as he broke Alexander Zverev’s serve to bounce back in the match. (AP)

11:40 hrs IST: Awesome tennis from both Zverev and Nadal. Both cover the court and rally extremely well but the Spaniard seals the game with a smash to extend his lead. Nadal 4, Zverev 1

11:38 hrs IST: Brilliant from Nadal as he capitalises on two break point opportunities to break Zverev. He is pumped up and he bellows a ‘Commee ooonnn’ on court. Nadal 3, Zverev 1

11:36 hrs IST: A double fault from Zverev and he is under pressure in the second set as he trails 15-30.

11:32 hrs IST: Easy service hold for Nadal. Better service from him. Nadal 2, Zverev 1

11:29 hrs IST: Zverev also holds his serve easily. Good start by both in the second set. Nadal 1, Zverev 1.

11:28 hrs IST: Nadal holds serve in the second set. Good start but the Spaniard has a real tough fight on his hands now. Nadal 1, Zverev 0.

Alexander Zverev clinched the first set against Rafael Nadal 6-4 to put the ninth seed under pressure. (AP)

11:20 hrs IST: A couple of errors from Zverev and Nadal’s winners makes this 10th game very tight. The German has set point but he fires the return wide. However, Zverev holds on and clinches the first set 6-4.

11:14 hrs IST: Nadal holds. Zverev will serve for the set. Will the German hold his nerve? Nadal 4, Zverev 5

11:13 hrs IST: Nadal is again facing a break. Will Zverev capitalise? No, he can’t as Nadal draws him wide of the court and rips a forehand across.

11:10 hrs IST: Another double fault from Nadal and he is under pressure. He cannot afford to lose this game.

11:07 hrs IST: Zverev is not giving an inch to Nadal as he continues his solid service. He holds easily again as Nadal’s unforced errors pile up. Nadal 3, Zverev 5

11:04 hrs IST: Nadal seals the seventh game with an ace. He holds and the scoreline is Nadal 3, Zverev 4.

11:03 hrs IST: Perfect hold of serve by Zverev. He is really landing those first serves in. Nadal 2, Zverev 4.

11:01 hrs IST: Nadal holds serve, but Zverev’s serve is equally strong. Nadal 2, Zverev 3.

10:57 hrs IST: Zverev holds serve as Nadal commits an unforced error. Nadal 1, Zverev 3. Catch live tennis scores here.

10:55 hrs IST: It is a tough battle already. Zverev misjudges the drop shot and Nadal quickly gets to the net to dispatch it. Zverev under pressure now.

10:49 hrs IST: Zverev’s forehands are really troubling Nadal. The Spaniard’s serve is under continuous pressure but he holds on and gets off the mark in the match. Nadal 1, Zverev 2.

Rafael Nadal was put under pressure as Alexander Zverev broke his serve in the first game of the match. (AFP)

10:47 hrs IST: Brilliant from both players. Nadal responded with a couple of crunching forehand returns but Zverev puts him under pressure with a brilliant forehand down the line. Nadal saves the break with a perfect serve.

10:45 hrs IST: Already in three games, Zverev has hit five winners. Once again, the Nadal serve under pressure.

10:44 hrs IST: After breaking Nadal, Zverev puts in a solid service game to hold his serve. Nadal 0, Zverev 2

10:40 hrs IST: Brilliant first game from Zverev as he breaks Nadal’s serve. The German’s back-hand really made Nadal struggle as his angles in the court were pretty deep. Nadal 0, Zverev 1

10:36 hrs IST: Match all set to begin. Nadal to serve first.

10:28 hrs IST: This is the second encounter between Nadal and Zverev. Their first encounter was in 2016 in the ATP Masters in Indian Wells and Nadal won the match 6-7(8), 6-0, 7-5.

10:24 hrs IST: The players have arrived on court and are warming up. Nadal is seeded ninth while Zverev is seeded 24th

10:20 hrs IST: With the Serena match over, it is time for Nadal vs Zverev on Rod Laver Arena. Caroline Wozniacki and Johanna Konta are battling it out on Margaret Court Arena.

Serena Williams entered the fourth round of the Australian Open with a straight sets 6-1, 6-3 win over Nicole Gibbs. (REUTERS)

10:12 hrs IST: The break in her serve does not matter. Serena breaks Gibbs’ serve again and she wraps up the set 6-3 and the match 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the fourth round. Well played, Serena.

10:09 hrs IST: Serena’s serve does not hold up and she ends up getting broken. The match goes beyond one hour but she still leads 5-3.

10:03 hrs IST: Serena Williams breaks Gibbs’ serve again. Leads 5-2 in the set and she will be serving for the match

09:54 hrs IST: Serena Williams has taken a 3-2 lead. The No.2 seed is looking solid and assured in her power game.

09:47 hrs IST: Serena breaks Gibbs’ serve again. Takes 2-1 lead in the second set after winning the first set 6-1.

Serena Williams won the first set against Nicole Gibbs in her third round match at the Australian Open. (REUTERS)

09:40 hrs IST: Gibbs holds serve in the first game of the second set. However, she is facing an uphill task.

09:36 hrs IST: Serena has clinched the first set 6-1. Almost too easy for her.

09:30 hrs IST: Serena has broken Gibbs’ serve again. She leads 5-1 and is ready to close out this set.

09:28 hrs IST: Serena has extended the lead to 4-1 in the first set.

09:21 hrs IST: Serena breaks Gibbs’ serve and takes a 3-1 lead in the first set.

09:15 hrs IST: Steady start for both Serena and Gibbs. Both hold serve and it is 1-1 in the first set.

09:00 hrs IST: Meanwhile, the next match on Rod Laver Arena will be between Serena Williams vs Nicole Gibbs.

Dominika Cibulkova, the sixth seed in the 2017 Australian Open, crashed out in the third round after losing to Ekaterina Makarova (REUTERS)

08:45 hrs IST: First big upset of day 6 in the Australian Open. No.6 seed Dominika Cibulkova loses 2-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6 to Ekaterina Makarova. Next match will be an all-American clash, featuring No.2 seed Serena Williams and Nicole Gibbs. After the end of this match, Nadal will play Zverev on Rod Laver Arena.

08:28 hrs IST: The longer the match between Makarova and Cibulkova stretches, the game between Nadal and Zverev will also be delayed. In the schedule, after this, Serena Williams is up next on Rod Laver Arena.

08:18 hrs IST: The Nadal-Averev match will take place in the Rod Laver Arena after the end of the Cibulkova - Makarova match. Currently, the sixth seed Cibulkova is trailing 2-3 in the final set.

08:16 hrs IST: There has already been one upset today. 14th seed Elena Vesnina has been knocked out with a 6-7 (4), 2-6 loss to American Jennifer Brady.

08:10 hrs IST: A warm welcome to day 6 of the Australian Open. The big match today features Rafael Nadal taking on Alexander Zverev. Will Nadal seal his spot in the fourth round or will an upset take place?

Nadal has had a smooth passage so far. He beat Florian Mayer in the first round and an emphatic victory against Marcos Baghdatis, the 2006 finalist, in the second.

Nadal needed only two hours and 13 minutes to defeat Cypriot Baghdatis, whose run to the 2006 final as an unseeded 20-year-old is part of Australian Open folklore.

The 31-year-old Baghdatis saved two match points but Nadal closed out the one-sided contest with a smoking cross-court forehand, his 32nd winner for the match, and punched the air in triumph as the terraces roared.

Nadal, 30, faces German talent Alexander Zverev next, a player tipped for a big future in the game.

Nadal has praised the 24th-ranked 19-year-old, who upset three-times grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka last year to win his maiden ATP title in St. Petersburg.

In their only encounter, Nadal beat Zverev at Indian Wells in 2016, but saved a match point in a hard-fought battle against the rising German.