Canada’s Shapovalov’s valiant comeback effort halted by Nadal in marathon match at Australian Open quarters

It took five sets, but Canadian Denis Shapovalov’s impressive run at the Australian Open is over.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal outlasted the left-hander from Richmond Hill, Ont., winning a marathon five-set quarter-final match (6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3) at Rod Laver Stadium on Tuesday night in Melbourne, Australia.

With the win, Nadal remains on track for a record 21st major singles title. He also improved his career record against Shapovalov to 4-1.

Nadal was appearing in his 14th Australian Open quarter-final, tying him with Australian John Newcombe for second behind Roger Federer (15).

Shapovalov, 22, was in his first Australian Open quarter-final. He came off a 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany.

Nadal converted two-of-three break opportunities that allowed him to win the opening two sets and take early control of the match.

WATCH | Shapovalov eliminated by Nadal in tough 5-set quarter-final match:

Nadal eliminates Shapovalov in Australian Open quarter-final 5-set thriller

Rafael Nadal eliminated Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 to advance to Australian Open semifinals. 4:05

Nadal grabbed the edge in the first set, breaking the Canadian’s serve to go ahead 3-1. Shapovalov was unable to return the favour as Nadal held serve to take the opener 6-3.

A second Nadal break gave the Spaniard a 4-3 advantage, which he then pushed to 5-3 after holding serve. Shapovalov managed to fend Nadal off and hold serve to pull to within 5-4, but Nadal served out the set 6-4 for a 2-0 advantage.

The two remained on serve in the third set until the 10th game when Shapovalov earned his first break to take it 6-4. Then in the fourth set, Shapovalov recorded his second break for a 3-1 advantage en route to a 6-3 victory to force a fifth and deciding set.

An early third break helped stake Nadal to a 3-0 advantage. Shapovalov held serve for the remainder of the set but couldn’t break Nadal, who was able to serve out the set and match.

Shapovalov finished with 20 aces and five double faults while Nadal had 10 aces and 11 double faults.

Canada still has a player alive in men’s singles. Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime will face Russian Daniil Medvedev also in quarter-final action.

WATCH | Shapovalov expresses frustration with chair umpire during Australian Open loss:

Denis Shapovalov takes out frustration on chair umpire in Aussie Open quarter-final loss

Frustrated by his opponent’s pace of play, Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., got into an argument with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes, and accused him of being “corrupt” during his quarter-final loss to Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open. 1:49

Keys upsets 4th-ranked Krejcikova to advance to semis

Madison Keys continued her resurgent 2022 season by advancing to the Australian Open semifinals.

And resurgent might be a major understatement.

Her 6-3, 6-2 quarter-final win over French Open champion and No. 4-ranked Barbora Krejcikova on Monday was her 10th match win in a row and 11th of the new year. That includes five wins so far at Melbourne Park, five in winning the Adelaide International title 10 days ago and one at a Melbourne tournament in the first week of the season.

Her total number of wins in all of 2021? That same number, 11.

“I did everything I could to rest this offseason and focus on starting fresh and new … starting from zero and not focusing on last year,” Keys said in her on-court interview. “I think it’s going well so far!”

Last week, Keys gave more details on how terrible 2021 was for her.

“I was just at a very high anxiety level all of the time,” Keys said. “I wasn’t sleeping as well. It felt like there was literally a weight on my chest just because I became so focused and obsessed with it that I wasn’t enjoying really anything because it’s all that I was thinking about.”

Krejcikova took a medical timeout while trailing 5-2 in the first set from what might have been heat stress, and appeared to be lethargic at times during the 35-minute second set.

Keys will play either top-ranked Ash Barty or Jessica Pegula in the semifinals. Barty and Pegula were playing a night match at Rod Laver Arena.

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