Top-seeded Rafael Nadal was a four-set winner over Argentinian Diego Schwartzman to advance to the Australian Open quarter-finals in Melbourne on Sunday.
The 31-year-old Spaniard battled at times to defeat Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 in a match lasting just under four hours on Rod Laver Arena.
Nadal next faces a tricky encounter with sixth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia who came from a set down to get past Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (3).
In the opening set things went with serve until the eighth game where Nadal broke to lead 5-3 and served out the set claiming it 6-3.
In the second set, which consisted of three breaks of serve apiece, had to be decided by a tiebreaker after the scores were tied at 6-6.
Schwartzman won the breaker 7-4 to claim the set 7-6 and get the match all square at a set each.
Things proceeded on-serve in the third until game four where Nadal claimed his opponents serve to lead 3-1 and never looked back claiming the set 6-3.
The fourth set started with the Argentinian holding serve comfortably then Nadal saved five break points in a 13-minute second game to make it 1-1 and then immediately broke to lead 2-1.
With Nadal leading 5-3, the 25-year-old Schwartzman survived two match points, while serving to stay alive, but could not stop the world number one claiming the third match point to win the set and match 6-3 and a berth in the quarter-finals.
The result means Nadal stays on track to win his second Australian Open title and 17th Grand Slam singles title.
In another men’s singles fourth round result, Britain’s Kyle Edmund came from a set down to beat Italian Andreas Seppi 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-2, 6-3.