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Rafael Nadal: I will have to be at my best against Dominic Thiem

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Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal says he won’t be taking No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem for granted ahead of their Australian Open clash as he insists he will have to play his best tennis in order to beat the Austrian. Nadal, a 19-time Grand Slam champion, overcame a difficult Nick Kyrgios round-of-16 challenge as he defeated the Australian 6-3 3-6 7-6 (6) 7-6 (4) to reach the quarterfinal at Melbourne Park.

Meanwhile, world No. 5 Thiem saw off 10th-seeded Gael Monfils in straight sets 6-2 6-4 6-4 to reach his maiden quarterfinal at the Australian Open. “(I expect) a very tough match. He is playing well,” Nadal told reporters of his upcoming match against Thiem.

Rafael Nadal

“I saw him play today against Gael and he was playing a great high level of tennis.” Nadal, 33, owns a 9-4 head-to-head record against 26-year-old Thiem. “It is a match that is going to be a tough one but it will be interesting.

I am excited to play this quarterfinal against Dominic. I know I will have to be at my best to have chances,” Nadal insisted. “I think I’m moving in the right direction, every day I’m playing a better.”

Rafael Nadal admits: ‘I stayed late to watch Roger Federer vs. John Millman’

Rafael Nadal

If you are a tennis fan, Rod Laver Arena was the Stadium to watch on Friday night when Roger Federer battled against John Millman. The Aussie defeated the Swiss at the US Open 2018 and was even more determined to repeat that in front of the home crowd in Melbourne, pushing the six-time champion Roger Federer to the limits for more than four hours and standing two points away from victory.

In the end, Roger prevailed 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 4-6 7-6, taking the last six points in the deciding match tie break to avoid an early exit and stay on the title course after what was the match of the tournament so far. The players threw everything they had at each other, with Federer hitting more winners and errors and Millman who was staying in touch with the well-balanced game and a positive mindset, drawing the most from the crowd’s support and enjoying every moment on the court.
Roger Federer

Bouncing back from two sets to one down, John forced the decider and had a massive opportunity to seal the deal, leading 8-4 in the match tie break before Roger took charge, taking the next six points to erase the deficit and seal the deal in what was his 100th victory at the Australian Open.

World no. 1 Rafael Nadal had to stay up late and watch the match until the end, enjoying in the fearsome battle between two great rivals and praising the efforts of both in an interview following his third-round victory over Pablo Carreno Busta on Saturday morning.

Roger Federer and John Millman

“I stayed awake to watch Roger Federer and John Millman, it was impossible to miss the match like that. It was emotional in the end and I enjoyed the battle. Millman is a fighter, it seems he never stops running. He was smiling for the entire encounter, with a positive mind and a great character on the court.

I always want to think I have been improving because of my personal motivation and not because of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Still, when you have such strong opponents in front of you, the path is a little bit cleaner, observing how good they are and what they are doing better than you, which makes you a better player as well.”

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