Nadal Sets Up Raonic Clash In Brisbane
Spanish star sweeps into last eight
Rafael Nadal will meet Milos Raonic on Friday for a place in the semi-finals of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp. The pair has not met since the 2015 Shanghai Rolex Masters and Nadal leads 6-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
Looking ahead to the Raonic match, Nadal said, “He’s one of the toughest opponents on tour today, without a doubt. He's the World No. 3. His serve is huge, and he improved a lot from the baseline, too. It's a match that you cannot do too many mistakes if you want to really have any chance. You need to be really focused with your serve and then try to play aggressively on the return. I am going to try to make it happen, knowing that it's going to be an extremely difficult match.”
Fifth seed Nadal produced another dominant performance in beating Mischa Zverev, who is currently at a career-high No. 51 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, 6-1, 6-1 on Thursday night at the Pat Rafter Arena.
Nadal lost 12 points in each set – including eight points on serve overall. Having held his first service game to 15, Zverev then lost the next seven games.
”I played a great match,” said Nadal. It’s difficult to say something negative, because in general I saw after, on the video screen, like, 30 winners and just a few unforced errors. I was returning very well, I think. A lot of great passing shots. The only thing, I am not sure about was my percentage of serves. I think that was not that good tonight.”
The 30-year-old Nadal is trying to capture his first ATP World Tour hard-court title since the 2014 Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha. Zverev recorded the biggest win of his career over then No. 3-ranked Wawrinka in October last year at the Swiss Indoors Basel.