MELBOURNE – Ruthless Rafael Nadal continued his relentless progress to reach the last four of the Australian Open as he slayed giant-killer Frances Tiafoe 6-3 6-4 6-2 on Tuesday.
Unseeded Tiafoe, 21, had shocked fifth seed Kevin Anderson and Grigor Dimitrov, seeded 20, but the 17-time Grand Slam champion proved too formidable for the popular American in his first major quarter-final.
The Spanish No 2 seed sprinted through in 107 minutes, and will face another emerging star, the 20-year-old Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas, in the semi-finals.
“I had some trouble at this event all my career, so I am very happy with the way I played tonight,” said Nadal, who retired from last year’s quarter-final injured against Marin Cilic.
The Spaniard has been in irresistible form in Australia in his first tournament since limping out of the US Open and having foot surgery.