Nadal Toughs Out Win; Lower Seeds Advance at Australian Open
by Staff | January 23rd, 2017, 7:56 am

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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51 Comments for Nadal Toughs Out Win; Lower Seeds Advance at Australian Open

lyle nubbins Says:

Nice win for Rafa but if he wants to win this he’s got to stop hitting forehand loopers into the middle of the court.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I’m thrilled for Rafa.

In January, Rafa and Roger have rewritten the story of 2017. If they can do this in their first big tournament, what will they be able to do with matches under their belt, match fitness, and most importantly confidence and a feeling of nothing to lose? Sure they haven’t faced Andy or Novak, but I’m not talking about them as champs (yet). Making the quarterfinals, for each of them, in this context, is enormous. They’re only going up from their January form.

It was SUPPOSED to be about Andy Murray, whether Novak could bring another counter-offensive, and whether Milos, Stan and Del Potro would steal some big wins.

Now, it is: can Roger and Rafa revive the Big Four? Can Rafa own clay again? Is Novak on his way out? Will Any be as STEADY in 2017 as we believed after last year? What about the Zverev kid? Milos is a slam contender now, even his harshest critics have to admit. There’s only 8 Slam finalist spots a year. How will they break down between Murray, Novak, Rog, Rafa, Stan, Milos? This is the biggest group of legit Slam challengers we’ve had in a looooong time. Are Del Potro or Zverev going to deny one of that stable?

I can’t wait to see how Del Potro fits in.

By the way, does anyone know when was the last time the 1+2 seeds missed the quarterfinals of a Slam??

RZ Says:

After a topsy-turvy weekend of tennis, Daniel and KJB are leading the ATP racket bracket, with Elina and Lakie just one point behind.

madmax Says:

This is looking like a really interesting AO this year – seems that anyone could win this!

Hopefully, it will Roger lifting the trophy! Just have to keep believing. Just have to. What a tournament for Roger already, am so pleased with the way that he is playing, he makes anything possible – however, so do the other players!

Daniel Says:

TV, 2004 Roland Garros when Federer lost to Guga and #2 also lost early, don´t recall if it was Roddick.

In AO, last time this happened was 2002 when Hewitt and Guga crashed out early.

Actually RZ, when the Nadal win counts in I and KJ won~t be leading anymore.

The winner will probaly be one of the three: elina (who picked Federer all the way), Ja Smith (who picked Nadal all the way) or Margot who have Raonic reaching finals (as long as he doesn’t lose to Fed).

Daniel Says:

Also important for Fedal was that they both won 1 five setter and a 4 setter this week. Fed in a way is more impressive as he beat 2 top ten back to back and dismantled Berdych. Nadal was dominating Monfils, bit suddenly lost a set and was down 2-4 in fourth set. He still is leaving too many short balls and misisng a lot for his standards, more than 20 UE. Monfils also played two sets worngly with a clay court approach, when he started flattenign his shots and going for huge FH and BH which got the crowd in “ohh” ” Ahhh” mode he was leading.

Raonic will be more dangerous with his serve and agression, but we know when his game is not clicking he can lose ugly.

Stan is a big question mark, he needed 3 teibreaks to beat Seppi, Tsonga and Fed can do much better. So neither of the three is super favorite in that side, all agreesive players, rewarded by a fast court.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Thank you Daniel! It was Roddick. So, 13 years since we last saw this, and that was during the Great Upheaval, in which Roddick/Ferrero/Safin/Hewitt/Federer jostled for #1, and then, suddenly, Fed bolted to dominance. Are we in a similar place?

Signs you do not live in a tennis golden age: David Goffin is favoured to make a Slam semi-final.

RZ Says:

Thanks for the update Daniel. I didn’t check the individual draws to see that they had updated them fully (they can be slow sometimes). I knew I couldn’t win 2 brackets in a row so I’m not surprised to see myself near the bottom.

Daniel Says:

If Dimi controls his agression and doesn´t make many mistaked as Thiem did (who at several moments seemd out of patience), he can blast Goffin. Also he is on a 9 match winning streak, which is always good. Remember, Wawa had a similar tear in 2014 when he won AO.

RZ Says:

Updated bracket shows Lakie as our current leader! Nikola is in 2nd place.

lyle nubbins Says:

No one roots for Raonic, me included. But there is much to admire there, like his maturity and work ethic.

Willow Says:

OMG Thats a strange looking settee ….

Willow Says:

Tennis Vagabond lovely post, very fair and balanced, you havent got a nasty bone in your body lol ….

Rick Says:

Warinka would thumps Fed in three sets. Because Fed just came back from the injury and lack of matches played.

Rick Says:

Also if Fed runs into the Rafa. Rafa would kick Federer’s butt.

Margot Says:

Rick, did you actually see the match? Fed looked very far from lacking match practise. In fact he looked sharp and fast.
Just because you seem not to like a player……

Van Persie Says:

Fed looked better today than Wawa, but Tsonga is a different opponent from Mischa. One match was played under the sun, the other was a night match, so different conditions also. Wawa can raise his level in the last stages of a tournament.
50% chances for both.

Berghain Says:

Haha VP nah? ich habs dir gesagt!

Yes, next match will be tricky.

Van Persie Says:


Ja, ja…Der Arsc*loch hat gewonnen :P

Glueckwunsch! ;)

Berghain Says:

Margot, I dont think Rick even watches tennis. He said the same thing about this match ‘that Fed would get thumped’

Berghain Says:

haha danke, danke! Freu mich auf nummer 18 ;)

Van Persie Says:


Mal sehen, Berghain :)

Berghain Says:

VP Im sure with your support he will get there. Have you ordered your Rf poster yet? lach mich tot… ok, ok ich hör auf. Schönen Tag noch.;)

Van Persie Says:

Ok Berghain,

I am sure Fed will win this AO!
Hope this works like my other perdictions from the latest rounds.
He will beat Wawa, in 3!…and the finalist, whoever will be, will have no chance against Fed!

Happy now?

Schoenen Tag ;)

Berghain Says:

Very. Half way to converting you.

Van Persie Says:

^ Planing also to to bet some money on him.:)

Berghain Says:

Funny , Boris was just talking about the big four and how he would like it to be called the big five. Seems like he agrees with TB.

FedExpress Says:

Feds last 5 GS results


steve-o Says:

Tough to pick a winner for the all-Swiss semi. Federer has to play his best tennis to beat Wawrinka these days. He’s been incredibly sharp in dealing with a wide variety of top players in this tournament so he definitely is producing a very high level.

But Wawrinka is looking dangerous and playing very well. Usually after surviving a tough early-round match he cleans up his game and starts hitting hard. He beat Tsonga pretty handily.

Federer’s been taking the ball early and being aggressive in all of the big matches–making Berdych look slow, penetrating Nishikori’s defense, and taking the fight to Zverev–and that’s the only way he can beat Wawrinka. If he gives Wawrinka any time on the ball, he’s going to be slugged off the court.

He got a small slice of luck in his QF opponent, after a murderous first-week draw. I’m not sure he’d have had enough energy to win another long baseline war with Murray after that epic battle with Nishikori.

OTOH Zverev doesn’t play a lot of long rallies so the match was short and not very physical. Just what the doctor ordered.

Federer was super-focused on making this a straight-sets victory to conserve energy, so he was really dialed-in in the first set and worked so hard to get the insurance break in the third set. At this stage of the tournament, it’s important to keep things as short as possible. Hopefully he’ll have enough left for two more great matches!

Van Persie Says:

“Feds last 5 GS results


Not correct; He had: F, SF, Absent, SF, Absent. I am talking about the last 5 GS, this one excluded.

Van Persie Says:

^^ Should you count the ones, where he participated, with this AO included it is: F F SF SF SF, in this order.

FedExpress Says:

okay VP-Einstein

All Out Says:

Fed looked good today. But then the older Zverev dosent seem to have any weaponry other than serve and volley. He got a few decent backhands and an ok looking forehand. Wawarinka is a diffrent animal alltogether. But he’s always got that mental block when playing against federer. Has he ever beaten Federer in slams?

The other quarter is looking rather interesting. Raonic is playing well but i expect Rafa to raise his game to go through to the Semis(Hoping he does). Dimi should then be a good practice match for spaniard before he can take on another single handed backhander in the finals. However, if Raonic does get to the finals, Federer will have his 18th grand slam.

Rick Says:

Fed is old to win another slam. If he could wins it. He would had won when he was in those finals a couple of years ago.

Rick Says:

Warinka in three.

Willow Says:

Rick lifes not like that, you can judge the future by what happened in the past ….

Willow Says:

Sorry you cant judge the future ….

Rick Says:

Yes, the future is that he is getting alot younger. ;)

Berghain Says:

Willow my prediction is that Rick will be back on Sunday and say Fed will lose in 3 – no matter the opponent :) hahaha.

Daniel Says:


Also, the semis with Wawa will be Thursday night, giving him 2 full days of rest. Even if that match goes long he will have time to recover for finals if he beats Wawa.

Also, Fed has 17 Slams and is seeded #17 for the first time, odd coincidence, maybe now is the time for the numbers to change;-)

Margot Says:

Berghain: What on earth is Rick doing on a tennis site? With such confident predictions he should have cleaned up with the bookies and should now be lolling on some beautiful beach, counting his millions…;)

Willow Says:

Berghain the only prediction i make, is that we cant predict anything, ive predicted things in the real world only to find it can come back and bite you on the backside, besides with the way this GS has panned out, i dont thing there is a safe bet on any of the players male or female, and BTW while we are on the subject, im hoping our Brit gal Konta pulls another tomorrow :)….

Willow Says:

Margot i will ask for the winning lottery numbers ;-) ….

Willow Says:

I Wonder if Jamie is back as Rick ? ….

Giles Says:

^^^ Definitely not. Rick is Rick.

Truth Says:

Lmao Rog had a career threatening injury and he’s elderly.
Then he found out that his boss & goddess Roddick made the Hall of Fame. Now his draws are easy walkovers because he imagines it’s 2004 again.
Fed fans actually thought the newer Andy was the next Fed.

Isn’t Rick a Rog fan? What language is that?

Margot Says:

Willow, if you do get the winning numbers, please pas them on. It’s horrible, freezing, thick fog where I am and I could just do with lolling on a sunshiney beach somewhere!

Willow Says:

Margot ill let you know if i ever get that lucky, BTW living by the seaside you dont know the half of it my dear when it comes to bad weather, beautiful in Summer bleak in Winter though im afraid : -) ….

Willow Says:

Absolutely thrilled Rafa has done so well at this years AO, and whatever happens now, i really hope he takes it forward for the rest of the year, Giles i hope your listening ;-) ….

J-Kath Says:

Yesterday was beautiful by the seaside but there’s a price for everything – we don’t get much fog but get winds – and winds – and winds….lifted my decking for crying out loud. Looking for a perfect tennis haven to move to…

C’mon Rafa…Do It.

Willow Says:

J-Kath nice to see you getting behind Rafa ;-) ….

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