Nadal blows away Berdych to reach Australian Open quarter-finals

Rafael Nadal (Photo Credit: SkySports)
Rafael Nadal (Photo Credit: SkySports)

Rafa Nadal routed Tomas Berdych 6-0 6-1 7-6(4) in a centre court masterclass to charge into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday.

The 2009 champion was relentless at Rod Laver Arena, claiming the first two sets in an astonishing 51 minutes.

The Spaniard also fired 32 winners past the hapless Czech to reach the last eight at Melbourne Park for the 11th time.

Nadal, who avenged his defeat to the former world number four in the quarter-final of the 2015 tournament, sealed the win on his first match point when the Czech hammered into the net.

Bidding for an 18th Grand Slam title, second seed Nadal will play unseeded American Frances Tiafoe for a place in the semi-finals.

In the female event, unseeded American, Danielle Collins, took less than an hour to thrash 2016 champion Angelique Kerber 6-0 6-2 and power her way into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday.

The unheralded 25-year-old had not won a match in her previous Grand Slam appearances.

However, after smashing 29 winners against triple Grand Slam champion Kerber she has now made it to the last eight in her first main draw showing at Melbourne Park.

“I may not have won a Grand Slam match before this (but) I got to tell you I think it’s going to keep happening,” Collins said.

“When I was in college, my coaches told me to go out, go after it and believe in my shots.

“All kudos to my coaching squad over there in the corner, they gave me a plan and I just did the job.”

Ranked 35th in the world, Collins breezed through the opening set in 20 minutes with three service breaks, hitting winners on all sides of the court against the second seed.

After an early trade of breaks in the second set, Collins smashed a backhand to break Kerber’s serve and take a 4-2 lead.

She then broke the German once again to seal victory on her first match point in 56 minutes.

Wimbledon champion Kerber mumbled to herself constantly, unable to show any fight she threw down her racquet in frustration that brought a warning from the umpire.

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“I go out fearless, I’ve been working hard my whole life, I just give it my all,” said Collins, after the match.

She will next play either fifth seed Sloane Stephens or Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who meet in the last match of the evening.

(Reuters/NAN)

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