Double-digit seeds David Goffin and Grigor Dimitrov became unlikely quarterfinalists and lined up a meeting at the Australian Open on Monday, both posting wins to put themselves in position for one of the semifinal spots during the fortnight in Melbourne.
The No. 11-seeded Goffin turned the biggest upset of the night, topping No. 8 Dominic Thiem 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-2.
“After losing the first [set], it was not easy to stay in the rallies because he was playing with such an intensity in every shots,” Goffin said. “But I served really well. Then I played a good tiebreak. I was solid. Then I started to play more solid, because it’s impossible to hit the ball harder than him, so you have to feel the timing, you have to stay solid, to play fast, and just make him miss some balls…Then he started to miss a lot. He did at the end a lot of mistakes.”
Goffin will next face the No. 15 seed Dimitrov, who likewise found himself down a set before taming the Djokovic-killer Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-1.
“David is an excellent player,” Dimitrov said looking forward to Goffin. “In a way I know what to expect from him. We’ve practiced against each other a few times this off-season. And he’s a very dangerous player. I just need to be ready mentally and physically for the battle. Honestly, there’s not much else you can say about that.”
Meanwhile Milos Raonic, the highest seed remaining at No. 3 after the exits of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, moved into the quarters after a 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over No. 13 seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
“There were some moments when it wasn’t looking so good,” Raonic said. “I was happy that I was able to find a way to pull through. And this atmosphere — especially when the roof closed, the noise stays in a little bit more, so it was great to be here. We live to see another day.”
Raonic in the quarters will face No. 9 seed Rafael Nadal, who in the final Monday late match defeated No. 6 Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
“Gael is a special player, he’s able to play unbelievable shots,” Nadal said on court after the match. “Coming back [in the 4th set down a break], coming back I know that I’ll keep having some chances.
“[Raonic] beat me a couple weeks ago,” Nadal said. “He’s a player with an amazing serve.”
Men’s quarterfinal action Tuesday in Melbourne will be (4) Stan Wawrinka vs. (12) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and (17) Roger Federer vs. unseeded Murray-killer Mischa Zverev of Germany.
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