The Spanish Rafael Nadal and the Australian Nick Kyrgios will meet in the round of 16 of the Australian Open in the most anticipated duel, while the Russian Daniil Medvedev and the German Alexander Zverev confirmed the status of favorites after adding new victories on the fast track .
Rafael Nadal improved his version compared to his first two performances this year at Melbourne Park and overwhelmed his compatriot Pablo Carreño in the third round after endorsing a convincing 6-1, 6-2 and 6-4.
The Spaniard made self-criticism after his previous victory against the Argentine Federico Delbonis and warned that he had to improve his level to keep the options intact to lift what would be his second crown in the Australian ‘major’.
He exceeded with note the pending task set by the player himself after overwhelming the Spaniard with a repertoire of impossible shots, especially winning parallel rights, and forceful services.
In addition, the positive point that Nadal highlighted in his victory against Delbonis, the service, was once again one of his main weapons, since he did not grant a single break opportunity in the entire match for the second time in a row.
The Spanish will face local Kyrgios on Monday at the Rod Laver Arena after the outcome of his marathon match against Russian Karen Khachanov (16) fell from his side after almost four and a half hours of fighting (6-2, 7- 6 (5), 6-7 (6), 6-7 (7) and 7-6 (8)).
Meanwhile, the main representatives of the new generation with options in the tournament, the Russian Daniil Medvedev and the German Alexander Zverev, took a new giant step after sentencing their pass to the round of 16 on the fast track against the young local Alexei Popyrin (6-4, 6-3 and 6-2) and the veteran Spanish Fernando Verdasco (6-2, 6-2 and 6-4), semifinalist in 2009, respectively.
The next opponent for the Muscovite will be the champion of the 2014 edition, Stan Wawrinka, who surpassed his third game after the abandonment of American John Isner when the score was 6-4 and 4-1.
Zverev, for his part, will have a demanding test against one of the fittest men on the circuit, Russian Andrey Rublev, who set foot in Melbourne Park after winning the Doha and Adelaide championship after his victory over Belgian David Goffin (22 ) by 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 and 7-6 (4).
The Austrian Dominic Thiem also did his homework with a victory over the American Taylor Fritz (29) by 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (5) and 6-4 that served to bury the bad feelings experienced in both first sets lost in the previous round against local Alex Bolt.
Thiem’s rival will be French veteran Gael Monfils, who finished in the remaining match of the day with Latvian Ernest Gulbis 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-3. EFE