Grand Slam outsider Jo Konta swept aside a former world number one to book a spot in the fourth round. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal showed no signs of fitness issues with a dominant performance over Alexander Zverev.Rafael Nadal came out on top 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3 in a five-set thriller against bright, German teenager Alexander Zverev to secure a spot in the fourth round of the Australian Open.
The 30-year old was forced to call a halt to his 2016 season prematurely due to a wrist injury, but has bounced back in the first Grand Slam of the year.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion dug deep into his energy reserves to outlast the energetic 19-year-old from Hamburg who has been dubbed “the future of tennis.”
“Everybody knows how good Alexander is,” said Nadal of Zverev. “He’s the future of our sport, and the present.”
While Nadal booked a meeting with Gael Monfils in Melbourne, third-seed Canadian Milos Raonic pulled through to beat Gilles Simon 6-2, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3. The 26-year-old, who reached the final of Wimbledon, overcame health issues to book a fourth round bout with Argentine Roberto Bautista Agut.
“I’ve had a rough last 48 hours, everything was aching, just sort of those kind of symptoms,” said Raonic. I’m managing it. I’m sure I’ll probably get something after today’s match.”
Meanwhile, ninth-seed Briton Johanna Konta continues to be the most impressive on the women’s side of the Australian Open outside of Serena Williams, thrashing former world number one Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1.
“I was very happy with I guess the way I was able to assert myself from the very beginning, also tighten up my game a bit as that first set went on, and just maintain my level to the very end,” said the 25-year-old.
World number two Williams moved a step closer to her dream of a 23rd Grand Slam title with a 6-1, 6-3 over Nicole Gibbs. “It was really good to get this under my belt. I always try to take everyone super-serious and I’m always super-focused,” said Williams who could meet Konta in the quarterfinals, should both progress.