Rafael Nadal wins 4-set thriller vs Gael Monfils, in Australian Open quarters | tennis | Hindustan Times
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Rafael Nadal wins 4-set thriller vs Gael Monfils, in Australian Open quarters

Rafael Nadal has made it to the quarterfinals of Australian Open 2017 with a stunning 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win vs Frenchman Gael Monfils. This is his first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 2015 French Open. Catch highlights of Nadal vs Monfils here.

tennis Updated: Jan 23, 2017 21:11 IST
tennis

Rafael Nadal defeated Frenchman Gael Monfils in a Round 4 Australian Open match in Melbourne on Monday. Nadal has entered the quarterfinals of the year’s first Grand Slam(AP)

The Rafael Nadal vs Gael Monfils Australian Open Round 4 has ended in a thrilling finish. Nadal, the 14-time Grand Slam champion, has shown passion and strength in Australian Open 2017 so far and has now entered the quarterfinals. Catch highlights of Rafael Nadal vs Gael Monfils here.

6:22 pm IST: Nadal will take on Raonic in the quarterfinals. Chances of a Federer-Nadal summit clash is still on!

6:15 pm IST: And he’s won it! Monfils sends one wide and Rafael Nadal is through to the quarters! What a match this has been! He was 2-4 down in the fourth set but went on to win the next four. Nadal in quarters with a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win. What a match this has been.

6:14 pm IST: Monfils saves a match point but Nadal’s looking fiercer than ever. Down to the fourth set but the Spaniard keeps chasing every single ball. Earns yet another match point!

6:13 pm IST: Match point! Nadal leads 40-30 in the 10th game

6:09 pm IST: Rafa leads 5-4! Champion stuff from the 14-time Grand Slam winner. Monfils looks devastated with that break gone...

6:08 pm IST: What a brilliant display by the greatest competitor in the world! Slams the winner down the court and an ecstatic cheer from the Spaniard. It’s 4-4 at the Rod Laver Arena now!

6:05pm IST: The crowd are loving it at the Rod Laver Arena. What a match this is turning out to be. And there’s a Mexican wave as well! Nadal earns the break!

5:59 pm IST: A peach of a finish down the line followed by a brilliant serve by Nadal as he keeps fighting in the fourth set. It’s still 4-3 in favour of the Frenchman though.

5:57 pm IST: Monfils holds his serve and opens up a 2-game gap for the first time in the match. It’s 4-2 in the fourth set.

5:53 pm IST: Broken! What a game that was! A 32-shot rally, a break point saved by Nadal and a Monfils masterclass to earn the break. It’s 3-2 in the Frenchman’s favour in the fourth set.

5:48 pm IST: A forehand winner from Nadal and the Spaniard now leads 2-1 in the fourth set.

5:47 pm IST: Monfils saves two break points, goes on the advantage, but follows it up with a double fault. 40-40 in the fourth game of the fourth set.

5:44 pm IST: An ace to seal the deal and level things at 2-2. Monfils turning on the heat at the Rod Laver Arena

5:29 pm IST: And Monfils takes the third set! It’s 2-1 in favour of Rafael Nadal, but it’s been an inspiring comeback from Monfils. Game on at the Rod Laver Arena. Follow live score of Rafael Nadal vs Gael Monfils here.

5:27 pm IST: Monfils has managed to save four break points now. What a comeback by the Frenchman after being 0-40 down on his own serve.

5:21 pm IST: BROKEN! Monfils breaks Nadal’s serve in the 9th game to lead for the first time in the match. He will serve for the set at 5-4.

5:20 pm IST: Monfils with two break points! Could be a big moment for the Frenchman if he manages to win this one.

5:17 pm IST: Gael Monfils not giving up without a fight. Levels things back at 4-4 in the third set.

5:14 pm IST: An erratic return once again and Nadal wins two consecutive points after being tied at 30-30 in the seventh game to go 4-3 up.

5:08 pm IST: Monfils with a forehand winner to level things at 3-3 in the third set.

5:03 pm IST: Monfils managed to level the game at deuce but as always, failed to keep up the pressure on the ever pumped-up Nadal who now goes 3-2 up in the third set.

4:58 pm IST: Monfils with a beautiful ace to level things at 2-2 against Nadal in the third set.

4:54 pm IST: A weak return from Monfils on Nadal’s serve and the Spaniard takes a 2-1 lead in the third set.

4:51 pm IST: Monfils with a brilliant winner down the line and it’s 1-1 in the third set.

4:50 pm IST: Things getting tough for Monfils who now has to pull off a dramatic comeback to register his first win over Nadal after going down 0-2

4:48 pm IST: Monfils smashes one back on the net and Nadal takes a 1-0 lead in the third set.

4:41 pm IST: Monfils fails to hold on to his serve once again and he’s gifted the set away to Rafael Nadal. He managed to save two set points but sent one wide down the line. Nadal wins the set 6-3 to go 2-0 up against Monfils. Follow live score and updates here

4:39 pm IST: Nadal holds serve to go 5-3 up. Monfils needs to hold serve to stay in the set.

4:34 pm IST: And Nadal has managed to earn the break once again. Nadal wins all four points in the game and it’s 4-3 in favour of the Spaniard!

4:32 pm IST: Nadal BROKEN! Monfils wins the break in the sixth game. It’s 3-3 in the second set at the Rod Laver Arena

4:30 pm IST: Monfils holds his serve. It’s still 3-2 in favour of the former World No 1. Monfils with three break points against Nadal!

4:28 pm IST: Monfils smashes one back to the net and Nadal goes 3-1 up in the second set at Rod Laver Arena.

4:24 pm IST: Monfils smashes one back to the net and Nadal goes 3-1 up in the second set at Rod Laver Arena.

4:19 pm IST: An ace down the center of the court and Monfils holds his serve for the first time in the second set. It’s 2-1 with Nadal to serve.

4:18 PM IST: Monfils with an erratic return and Nadal holds his serve. 2-0 for the Spaniard in the second set.

4:13 pm IST: Broken on game 1 once again! Monfils with an unforced error and Nadal takes a 1-0 lead in the second set.

4:05 pm IST: Nadal wins first set 6-3. A wayward return from Monfils and Nadal has the first set wrapped up in just 46 minutes.

4:01 pm IST: Monfils slams an ace down the far end of the court. He holds his serve, but Nadal will now be serving for the set. 5-3 at the Rod Laver Arena.

3:59 pm IST: Monfils smashes a lofted ball on to the net. Seemed like the Frenchman had pulled a muscle or two.. He trails 30-40 at the moment.

3: 55 pm IST: Monfils sends one wide and Nadal extends his lead to 5-2. What a dominant performance this has been by the Spaniard so far!

3: 50pm IST: After five deuces, Monfils finally holds on to his serve. It’s 4-2 for Nadal . It’s a sticky day in Melbourne and the Frenchman is breaking a lot of sweat.

3:39 pm IST: Third seed Milos Raonic demolishes Roberto Bautista Agut in the fourth set to win the match 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to go through to the quarters. He will face the winner of the clash between Rafael Nadal and Gael Monfils. Monfils fails to break Nadal. At the moment, the Spaniard holds a 4-1 lead in the first set.

3:37pm IST: Monfils finally manages to hold serve. Nadal leads 3-1 at the Rod Laver Arena

3:34 pm IST: Nadal holds serve and now leads 3-0 against Monfils. What a start from the Spaniard!

3:31 pm IST: Monfils broken! Nadal earns a break in the very first serve to go 2-0 up. Follow live score here.

3:27 pm IST: Rafael Nadal hold serve in the first game. This match should be a cracker.

3:25 pm IST: What a start! Rafael Nadal saves a break point off his own serve. It’s deuce in Game 1

3:16 pm IST: Did you know that this is the first match where Monfils is actually the higher ranked player than Nadal. While Monfils is currently No.6, the Spanish master is No.9

3:14 pm IST: Milos Raonic takes the third set 6-4. Leads 2-1 against Roberto Bautista Agut at the Hisense Arena. Follow tennis live score and updates of Australian Open 2017 here.

3:10 pm IST: The players arrive at the Rod Laver Arena. Nadal will want to continue his winning run against Gael Monfils as the two vie for a spot in the quarterfinal.

3:04 pm IST: Up next at the Rod Laver Arena, the big one of the night -- Rafael Nadal, the ninth seed, takes on sixth seed Gael Monfils of France in the fourth round.

2:54 pm IST: In the women’s draw, Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, the fifth seed, beat Daria Gavrilova of Australia 6-3, 6-3 to enter the quarterfinals at the Rod Laver Arena. She will take on unseeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

2:47 pm IST: It’s 3-3 in the third set (they have won a set each) between Bautista Agut and Milos Raonic at the Hisense Arena. A tight match this one.

2:24 pm IST: Bautista Agut pulls one back. It’s 1-1 between him and Raonic in the Hisense Arena

2:12 pm IST: Novak Djokovic conqueror Denis Istomin bows out of Australian Open 2017. Loses 6-2, 6-7(2), 2-6, 1-6 to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

1:55 pm IST: Meanwhile, third seed Milos Raonic wins first set 7-6 (8-6) against 13th seed Roberto Bautista Agut. They are playing at the Hisense Arena.

1:45 pm IST: Roger Federer (seed No. 17) will hog the spotlight on Tuesday. He will play Mischa Zverev (Germany), the man who stunned world No. 1 Andy Murray on Sunday. Here is the day’s schedule: ROD LAVER ARENA Women’s singles - Quarter-finals: 13-Venus Williams (U.S.) v 24-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia); Coco Vandeweghe (U.S.) v 7-Garbine Muguruza (Spain). Men’s singles - Quarter-finals: 4-Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland) v 12-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France). Men’s singles - Quarter-finals: Mischa Zverev (Germany) v 17-Roger Federer (Switzerland); Women’s Doubles - Quarter-finals - 1-Caroline Garcia (France)/1-Kristina Mladenovic (France) v Ashleigh Barty (Australia)/Casey Dellacqua (Australia).

1:28 pm IST: The Nadal vs Monfils match will be played after the women’s singles round 4 match between Karolina Pliskova (Czech, 5th seed) and Australian 22nd seed Daria Gavrilova.

1:23 pm IST: Here’s some good news for Indian tennis fans. Leander Paes and Martina Hingis are in the quarterfinals of Australian Open 2017.

Gael Monfils has a poor record against Rafael Nadal, but statistics normally don’t count for much on big days in a Grand Slam tournament. The Frenchman has lost 12 of his 14 outings against Nadal. Monfils two wins against Rafael Nadal came in Doha in 2009 and 2012.

Nadal has a win-win record against Monfils in Grand Slams. In the 2009 US Open, he recovered from a set down to win the fourth-round match against Monfils. And in 2014, Nadal dropped just six games en route to a crushing Australian Open win.

But Monfils looks a much improved player now. Monfils reached the Melbourne round of 16 for the third time following a 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber, the 32nd-seeded German, in just under two hours on Margaret Court Arena.

It was the sixth seed’s 13th win in 15 meetings with Kohlschreiber and clinched an anticipated crowd-pleasing encounter with Nadal, who fought back to beat rising young German Alexander Zverev in five sets.

Rafael Nadal held off a fierce challenge from one of the hottest prospects in the game when he outlasted German teenager Alexander Zverev 4-6 6-3 6-7(5) 6-3 6-2.

The Spaniard, champion here in 2009, needed to be at his resilient best to come out on top after more than four hours of top quality shot-making and thrilling rallies which earned both players a huge ovation from the Rod Laver Arena crowd.