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Australian Open Men's Day 8

By Chris Pike
20 January 2014 09:42PM EST

RAFAEL Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray are through to a quarter-final berth at the Australian Open as expected while Grigor Dimitrov is into the last eight for the first time.

Men's fourth round action on Monday began with world No. 1 Rafael Nadal beating Japan's Kei Nishikori in three tight sets, 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (3) with the match lasting three hours and 17 minutes.

Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov then advanced to the quarter finals recording a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Frenchman Roberto Bautista Agut before Andy Murray beat another Frenchman Stephane Robert 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (6), 6-2.

The night session then saw Federer stamp his authority over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 win.

Nadal was up in the first men's match up of the day with the world No. 1 and 2009 Australian Open champion taking on Japan's Nishikori whose career has steadily building.

The 24-year-old 16th-seed has now made it to the fourth round at least at three straight Australian Opens as he continues to get closer and closer to becoming a genuine Grand Slam threat.

He might now be out of the Australian Open after the fourth round as well, but he put up an almighty effort against his Spanish opponent who had brutalised his first three opponents so far in Melbourne.

The first set between Nadal and Nishikori lasted 65 minutes with one break of serve each as it went into a tie-break with the Spaniard just managing to prevail seven points to three.

The tight contest continued in the second set but when it mattered most Nadal managed to find a way to break Nishikori's serve to go up two sets to love by winning it seven games to five.

Nishikori certainly wasn’t about to drop his head, though, and managed to break Nadal's service twice in the third set.

The problem was that Nadal also broke his twice needing just two break points to do so.

That saw the set again go to a tie-break where once again Nadal managed to prevail seven points to three but he had been well and truly tested for the first time at this year's Australian Open on his way to a quarter-final match-up with Dimitrov.

Nishikori might have lost, but if a bit of luck went his way and he tidied up his 51 unforced errors a little and he is not too far away from being able to beat the world No. 1 on the Grand Slam stage.

World No. 4 Scot Murray and the 119-ranked Frenchman Robert then did battle on Hisense Arena pitting one of the world's very best against a relative unknown 33-year-old.

Robert's journey this year in Melbourne has been remarkable with the Frenchman losing in qualifying but then as he was collecting his cheque before ready to jet out of the country, he was told a spot in the main draw of the Australian Open had opened up for him.

And he grabbed that opportunity with both hands advancing to his very first Grand Slam fourth round appearance, but Murray was yet to drop a set in first three rounds and is the reigning Wimbledon champion not to mention a three-time finalist previously at Melbourne Park.

Murray showed all of his experience and class on the big stage as well in the first two set dropping just three games on the way to a two sets to love lead, but the Frenchman still had some tricks left in his bag.

Despite Murray serving for the match and having two match points leading 5-4, Robert found a way with some gifted touch and stroke making to not only break back, but then force a tie-break and then win that eight points to six to push the match to a fourth set.

Murray smashed a racket and changed his shirt before coming back out for the fourth set, and he steadied winning it six games to two to advance to a 12th straight quarter-final appearance at Grand Slams he has played in.

The other men's match up during the day on Monday pitted two men against one another who already were in unchartered waters in a Grand Slam Round of 16 appearance.

No. 22 seed Bulgarian Dimitrov has been threatening such a performance since breaking onto the tour and now his game appears ready to head to the upper echelon of talents in the men's game.

However, his fourth round opponent was no pushover with Spaniard world No. 62 Bautista Agut already having beaten world No. 5 Del Potro along the way to the Round of 16.

It was a tight four-set battle as well but it was Dimitrov that ended up winning his way to the quarter finals with the 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory to set up a match-up with Nadal.

Four-time Australian Open champion Federer showed vintage form as he thumped Tsonga to move into the quarter finals.

The giant challenge expected from the powerful Tsonga was more a weak whimper as Federer wound back the clock to win 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

Federer broke 10th-seeded Tsonga in the second game of the match and was one set up in less than 30 minutes.

In an almost flawless performance, the Swiss maestro barely dropped a point on his serve in the first set.

He continued that dominance - Tsonga didn't get a break point on the 17-time major winner under he was trailing 3-4 in the third - and he didn't convert.

Under the guidance of new coach, Swedish great Stefan Edberg, Federer was more aggressive at the net and reaped the rewards with Tsonga unable to find any rhythm.

Tsonga came into the match seeking revenge for his five-set quarter-final defeat at the hands of Federer last year.

But it was sixth seed Federer who made a statement.

It will be his 11th consecutive Australian Open quarter-final appearance.

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