Rafael Nadal appeared to shake off his recent bout of poor health due to a virus as the top-seed rolled into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 win over Marin Cilic.
Nadal avenged his lone loss to the Croatian 15th seed with the victory, which put him into the Melbourne last-eight for the fifth straight year. The Spaniard’s victory marked his 25th straight victory at a major as he bids to win his fourth Grand Slam in a row.
Nadal had been plagued by a virus since the start of the year, with the top-seed admitting that he’s not yet back to full fitness.
That problem seems to have been solved with the comprehensive win over Cilic, who saved a match point with an ace and ended with a double-fault.
“I was nervous before the match, I knew how well Marin could play,” said Nadal, who said that he felt the best on court in weeks.
“He’s very dangerous. I had to play with a high intensity and played my best match of this year,” he said.
“I’m happy that I didn’t sweat so much tonight like I did in the previous two matches. Today was the first day I felt perfect physically, that’s the most important thing.”
Keywords: Australian Open