"I was very, very focused," Nadal said. "I'm very happy with everything and to have another chance on Sunday." That chance will be against 24th seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman for a place in the quarter-finals. Third seed Dimitrov, who could meet Nadal in the semis, had plenty to prove after a huge second-round fright from a qualifier, who pushed him to five sets. And the Bulgarian delivered in a testing 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Russian rising star Andrey Rublev as temperatures touched 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
.@RafaelNadal has dropped only 21 games in three rounds at the #AusOpen— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018
On-court interviewer: "Is that the best preparation leading into the 4R at a Grand Slam you have ever had?"#Nadal: “I really don’t know. We are gonna check later.” ?#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/LncAO5425E
"These are the most important matches for me, when things are not working for me and I find a way," he said. "I'm feeling good physically, the heat didn't scare me at all today, so that's a good sign." He will next face the winner of an intriguing night match which pits Australian Nick Kyrgios against French veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Match of the #AusOpen so far? ?@NickKyrgios scores 5⃣ points in a row in the fourth set tie-break to defeat #15 Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(6) 7-6(5) in an epic!— The Field (@thefield_in) January 19, 2018
Men's singles round-up: https://t.co/lok6It3JhUpic.twitter.com/xiWauNxE4u
In a tournament shorn of seeds, 81st ranked Petra Martic also swept into the round of 16, celebrating her 27th birthday by holding off a gritty three-set challenge from Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum. Her reward is a match against Belgium's Elise Mertens, who beat struggling Alize Cornet of France in two tough sets. Cornet was among players wilting in the heat, with a doctor taking her blood pressure early in the second set as she succumbed to the baking weather.
Question: What did you take from that experience today?@marta_kostyuk: Well, a lot. How much you have to pay Svitolina to have one-hour lesson, so I got it for free.#AusOpen??? pic.twitter.com/9OjX4YnznUJanuary 19, 2018