A quick look at the Australian Open:
Rafael Nadal’s back pain seems to be improving when he enters the quarterfinals of the Australian Open with a view to the record 21st men’s Grand Slam title. The opponent of the Spanish left-hander will be Stefanos Tsitsipas, who did not need a blow in the fourth round, as No. 9 Matteo Beretini withdrew with an injury to the abdomen. Nadal is 6-1 against 22-year-old Tsitsipas, including a 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 victory in the 2019 semifinals in Melbourne Park. The other quarterfinal in their half of the draw will be number 4 Daniil Medvedev, runner-up at the US Open 2019, against No. 7 Andrei Rublev in an all-Russian match. Medvedev, 25, and Rublev, 23, have been childhood friends. There is also a quarterfinal for women from one country between Americans Jennifer Brady and Jessica Pegula. They are good friends off the court and have played couples together. Pegula defeated Brady in their only previous singles match on a hard court before last year’s US Open. Brady has not missed a set in four Australian Open matches so far. Pegula defeated fifth-placed Elina Svitolina in the round of 16. The other women’s quarterfinals topped the Australian Ash Barty, playing Karolina Muhova of the Czech Republic. Barty defeated Mukhova at the US Open 2018 in their only previous match. Barty is trying to reach his second consecutive semifinal at the Australian Open and win his home Grand Slam for the first time. Both players are undefeated in 2021 and have not missed a set in this tournament.
Sunny High of 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit)
Mostly sunny, highest of 31 degrees C (88 F).
KEY RESULTS FROM TUESDAY (DAILY SESSION)
Women’s Quarterfinals: No. 10 Serena Williams defeated No. 2 Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3; No. 3 Naomi Osaka defeated Hsieh Su-wei 6-2, 6-2.
Men’s Quarterfinals: Aslan Karatsev beat No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.
STATISTICS OF THE DAY
Zero – Number of men in the Open era who reached the semifinals of their Grand Slam debut to the surprise start of the 114th ranked qualifier Karatsev in Australia.
19 – Consecutive matches won by Osaka, including last year’s US Open title.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“She’s Serena.” I feel really scared when I see her on the other side of the court. “- Osaka, on the possibility of facing Serena Williams in the semifinals.