Perfect Rafa storms into Australia quarters

Updated: 26 January 2009 12:05 IST

Top seed Rafael Nadal maintained his perfect record as he swept past Chile's Fernando Gonzalez and into the Australian Open quarter-finals on Monday.

Perfect Rafa storms into Australia quarters
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Melbourne:

Top seed Rafael Nadal maintained his perfect record as he swept past Chile's Fernando Gonzalez and into the Australian Open quarter-finals on Monday.

Nadal, who is yet to drop a set, dominated the 2007 finalist 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to advance to a last-eight clash with France's Gilles Simon as he seeks his first hard-court Grand Slam win.

The Spaniard, capitalising on Gonzalez's four-hour marathon with Richard Gasquet, raced through the first two sets in less than 40 minutes each, pushing the 13th seed back to keep his giant forehand at bay.

Gonzalez mounted a brief revival in the third but Nadal hit back from 3-0 down and got the decisive break 4-3 with a forehand into the corner.

The Wimbledon and French Open champion, looking fit and revived after an extended off-season, is yet to be challenged here after easy wins against Christophe Rochus, Roko Karanusic and Tommy Haas.

Monday's victory also avenges his quarter-final loss two years ago to Gonzalez, whom he also beat in the Beijing Olympic final in August.

The Majorcan left-hander has begun his first season as number one after ending a wait of more than three years by overtaking Roger Federer last year.

Nadal compiled one of the best seasons in tennis history in 2008, winning his fourth successive French Open and ending Federer's five-year Wimbledon reign in a classic final.

Including Olympic gold the 22-year-old claimed eight titles in all, more than any other player.

Topics : Tennis Rafael Nadal
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