Melbourne - Spain's
world number three Rafael Nadal downed big-serving South African Kevin
Anderson to reach the quarter-finals at the Australian Open on Sunday.
overpowered the 15th-ranked Anderson 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 in 2hr 6min on Rod
Laver Arena and will face Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych in the last
It will be Nadal's eighth quarter-final appearance as he
bids for his second Australian title after losing to Stan Wawrinka in
last year's decider.
Nadal, who won the Open in 2009, showed no
signs of the health problems he suffered when taken to five sets by
American Tim Smyczek in the second round and looked back to his best.
"After a tough period of time for me it's a fantastic result and I'm very happy with the way I played today," he said.
"It was probably my best match here this year so that's very important for me and very special."
Anderson had no trouble and dropped only one point in his first five service games before he cracked serving for a tiebreaker.
got to 15-40 and held two set points, but the South African conceded
the opening set when he made an ugly-looking crouch forehand into the
Nadal, who had been struggling to handle Anderson's serve, suddenly found himself a set up in 52 minutes.
South African's confidence dipped and Nadal swiftly seized the
initiative, breaking his opening two service games to take the second
set in 32 minutes.
Nadal quickly grabbed an early break in the
third set to strengthen his grip and take the match and now has a 18-3
record against Berdych.