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Rafa Nadal battles past Gael Monfils to set up Australian Open quarter-final with Milos Raonic

Mirror logo Mirror 23-01-2017 Ben Burrows
Credits: AFP © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP

Rafael Nadal withstood a third-set comeback from Gael Monfils to book his place in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The Spaniard, who will now meet Milos Raonic in the last eight, prevailed 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-4 to keep hopes of a fairytale final with old foe Roger Federe alive.

He last met Federer, who beat Kei Nishikori to make it into the second week, in a final at Roland Garros in 2011.

Nadal looked as if he was set to race through taking the first two sets with relative ease.

But the French No.6 battled back in the third to take it.

2009 champion Nadal wasn't to be denied though and broke late in the fourth to seal the match.

"Gael is a special player," he said afterwards. "He can play unbelievable shots and is one of the more charismatic players. Seeing him in the top ranking places is great for the sport.

"I had chances in the third and didn’t take them so it's dangerous. He had some huge serves and you are under problems against a big player like him.

"Coming back I know I keep having some chances and then at 5-4 with his serve under pressure I had my chances.

"To be in a quarter-final at a Grand Slam is very special for me, especially here in Australia where it feels a little bit like home."

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