Nadal downs showman Monfils

Updated: 

Resurgent Rafael Nadal overcame a fightback from the flamboyant Gael Monfils to set up a mouth-watering Australian Open quarter-final against Milos Raonic.

Fourteen-time grand slam champion Nadal will feature in the last eight of a major for the first time since the 2015 French Open after beating the entertaining Monfils 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena on Monday.

The 2009 champion Nadal was far more consistent than the unpredictable sixth-seeded Frenchman, who paid the price for making 64 unforced errors.

A vibrant Nadal broke six times and had too much nous for Monfils, but the world number six had the crowd on their feet with some jaw-dropping shots as he threatened a comeback before the ninth seed got the job done.

Nadal made a blistering start, opening up a 3-0 lead as Monfils struggled to get going and was unable to find a way back into the first set.

The Spaniard broke in the first game of the second set and wore down last year's US Open semi-finalist, who broke back to level at 3-3 only to lose three games in a row to go 2-0 down.

Showman Monfils was not finished yet, though, as he conjured up some sublime shots and served out the third after Nadal put a forehand wide to go a break down at 5-4.

Monfils looked like a completely different player and seemed set to take a high quality match the distance when he broke to lead 4-2 in the fourth, but Nadal turned the tide - winding up his forehand with great effect - and won four games in a row to set up a meeting with third seed Raonic.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Nadal [9] bt Monfils [6] 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal - 21/27
Monfils - 52/64

ACES
Nadal - 2
Monfils - 15

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal - 6/17
Monfils - 3/6

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Nadal - 73
Monfils - 58

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Nadal - 72/63
Monfils - 66/44

TOTAL POINTS
Nadal - 126
Monfils - 105