Rafael Nadal is into the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the seventh time of his career after battling past Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.
The Canadian grew into the match, with Nadal recording the most double faults in a match in his career, but in the end the No 14 seed had no answer to the Spaniard’s superior serving and aggression from the baseline.
Nadal, who last won the Australian Open in 2009, will face Matteo Berrettini in the last four.
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"I was completely destroyed after that," he said afterwards.
"Very tough. Very warm, Honestly I didn't practice for it. I was a little bit lucky at the beginning of the fifth. I think at the beginning of the match I was playing great then I know how difficult it is to play someone like Denis. He is very talented. For me it is amazing to be in the semi-finals.
"The real truth is two months ago we didn't know if we were going to be back on tour at all so here I am. For me it is a present of life that I am here playing tennis again and I just enjoy it."
The first set was routine for Nadal. The 20-time Grand Slam winner won 89 per cent of the points off his first serve and won it in 39 minutes, sealing the opener with an ace.
The second set began with an angry exchange between Shapovalov and umpire Carlos Bernardes, criticising the Brazilian for not regulating Nadal’s time between points. Bernardes was not impressed with the Canadian and the 22-year-old appeared to lose some focus.

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With both players locked at 3-3, an unforced error on Shapovalov’s backhand side handed Nadal a break point and the Spaniard capitalised with a smash at the net. Nadal would not be tested on his own serve and won his remaining service games.
A double fault from Nadal handed Shapovalov the chance to break back at 3-2 in the third set, but Nadal rescued two break points at 15-40 down before going on to seal it with a fine slice at the net.
But a far more composed Shapovalov continued to pressure and he earned himself three break points at 5-4 up, taking the second one with a vicious forehand winner.
It was the turn of Nadal to get frustrated in the fourth set. At 2-1 down he received a time violation when Shapovalov had a break point. The 35-year-old hit the net cord on his second serve before double faulting to give the Canadian a decisive break before the three-hour mark.
Nadal called on the trainer for a stomach problem and took some tablets before continuing, but the real damage was done in the fourth. Shapovalov forced a fifth after saving two break points on his final service game.
Nadal made his experience count in the decider as he broke the Shapovalov serve for the first time since the seventh game in the second set to move into a 2-0 lead. He then showed great fortitude to save two break points and go 3-0 up before rattling off his remaining service games.
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14/08/2022 AT 21:13