The first two men's quarter-finals were finalised at the Australian Open on Sunday as Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov remained on a last-four collision course.
Top seed Nadal, last year's runner-up at Melbourne Park, was below his best in battling past Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 and will meet Marin Cilic, who came from a set down to see off Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-0) 7-6 (7-3).
In the absence of Andy Murray, it was a landmark day for another Brit as Kyle Edmund broke new ground in reaching his first grand slam quarter-final, defeating Andreas Seppi 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-2 6-3.
His opponent in the last eight will be Dimitrov, who ensured the wait for a home male champion at this event will extend into 43rd year with a four-set win over Nick Kyrgios.
NADAL KEEPS HIS COOL
The Spaniard toiled at times against Schwartzman and revealed afterwards that the humid conditions on Rod Laver Arena posed a tough challenge.
"Everybody suffers in a four-hour match," he said. "It was tough conditions out there with a lot of humidity. Sometimes - I said the other day - sometimes it's tougher for the body. You know, less hot but more humidity. Today was that case.
"It was a good test and, at the same time, I said before, I prefer to win in two hours than in four. But being honest, too, moments like this helps to be more confident in yourself, in your body."
Tough match to go into the QF! Vamosssssssssssssss! pic.twitter.com/WNeJlNP73c— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) January 21, 2018
DIMITROV 'FRUSTRATED' BY UNPREDICTABLE KYRGIOS
After Nadal and Schwartzman departed Rod Laver Arena, Dimitrov and Kyrgios were next up and the pair did not disappoint.
The Bulgarian advanced 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) at the end of four tension-filled sets, and afterwards expressed his exasperation at facing someone of Kyrgios' maverick ability.
"Frustrating!" Dimitrov said. "Simple as that. You've always got to be alert, he served a couple of second serves over 200 [kph] today, I mean what can you do, give me a tip!
"He was serving unbelievable, he deserves a lot of credit here, he fought really hard. Even when I was serving for the match I felt it was not over, he was playing very well."
WHO NEEDS ANDY MURRAY?
Edmund came from behind to defeat Seppi to record his best effort at a major - surpassing a fourth-round appearance at the US Open in 2016. And the Brit sees no reason why he can't go all the way.
"You have to believe it. I mean, that's why I'm in the quarter-finals, because every time I step on the court and I'm playing, I believe I'm going to win," he said. "So it's no different now.
"I take it one step at a time. Whoever I'm playing on Tuesday, I have to believe I'm going to win and believe in my game. That's the way I have approached it, one match at a time, and I continue to do that."
First #AusOpen QF ✅@kyle8edmund is the first British man other than @andy_murray to reach the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in 38 years d Andreas #Seppi 6-7(4) 7-5 6-2 6-3. pic.twitter.com/gX9852dmT2— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 21, 2018
CILIC 'UP AND DOWN'...BUT THROUGH
It was far from plain sailing for Cilic, who threw away a 5-2 lead in the opening set to find himself behind, but displayed his mental fortitude to level and then break Carreno Busta at 6-5 down in the third to force a tie-break.
"I should have won the first. I should have lost the third. I should have won quicker in the fourth. So it was up and down a lot. It was difficult match," said Cilic.
"I'm very pleased. I felt that I played all four matches on a good quality. Today, if looking at some small details, I was a little bit up and down on some service games, and he was returning quite good. But overall I'm feeling good with the game. I'm hitting the ball really nicely, taking chances, playing aggressive, taking the ball as early as I can."
|Ballack sees ´a big difference´ between Bundesliga and Premier League|
|Karmichael Hunt faces no conviction, but will remain sidelined|
|Betis boss would have preferred to face Madrid´s BBC|
|Chelsea v Barcelona: Messi´s blues against the Blues|
|James leaving Madrid was the best thing, says father|
|He´s looking good – Zidane thrilled with Ronaldo|
|It needs to take 30 seconds – Matic wants quicker VAR|
|Team LeBron edges Team Stephen in thrilling All-Star Game|
|McIlroy sees progress despite failing to contend at Riviera|
|Silver supports NBA players speaking out on social issues|
|Mickelson ready for Masters after third straight top-six finish|
|Gattuso: My job is to be the players´ nightmare until season´s end|
|I wasn´t good enough – Guardiola reveals Wigan rejection|
|Dillon reigns supreme with overtime win at Daytona 500|
|Bubba Watson ends drought with third Genesis Open title|
|Brazilian derby between Vitoria and Bahia abandoned after red-card frenzy|
|Anderson ends barren spell with New York Open triumph|
|It was crazy, but I like that - Zidane revels in eight-goal Betis thriller|
|Asensio credits Zidane for Madrid´s thrilling Betis comeback|
|Zidane hopeful over Marcelo hamstring injury|
|Overton replaces injured Plunkett for Blacks Caps ODI series|
|Bonaventura claims Milan can catch Inter|
|Bravo for Claudio! Guardiola to pick keeper at Wembley|
|Mourinho hoping for reinforcements at Sevilla|
|´Quick-healer´ Groves hopeful over shoulder injury|
|Real Madrid become first side to score 6,000 goals in LaLiga|
|Real Betis 3 Real Madrid 5: Asensio at the double in LaLiga classic|
|AC Milan 1 Sampdoria 0: Bonaventura makes it 10 unbeaten for Rossoneri|
|Schurrle excited to finally link up with Reus and Gotze|
|Fit-again Hughes included in England squad|
|New number one Federer revels in ´unbelievable´ week|
|Real Madrid defender Marcelo suffers hamstring injury|
|Costa fumes referees ´want to give me a card´, but Simeone plays down penalty row|
|Thiem regains Argentina Open title|
|Stoger makes Dortmund history with Gladbach win|
|Championship Review: Leeds fight back for point, Norwich & Ipswich share derby spoils|
|Racing beat La Rochelle to go second, Castres edge out Bordeaux|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Burki unbeatable as Reus returns to haunt Foals|
|FA Cup ´magic´ no surprise to Pochettino after Rochdale thriller|
|Rochdale hero Davies: This is every kid´s dream|
|Atletico Madrid will not stop in pursuit of Barcelona, promises Gameiro|
|Banks boot pays dividends for Treviso|
|Lucky 13 and second successive title for Kvitova after Muguruza classic|
|´Wrong image´ to blame for VAR confusion in Manchester United´s FA Cup win|
|Rochdale 2 Tottenham 2: Davies denies Kane in FA Cup classic|
|Rieder stretchered off as Wasps extend Chiefs´ slump|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 0: Gameiro and Costa settle cagey clash|
|NHL commissioner Bettman condemns ´reprehensible´ Smith-Pelly abuse|
|Visser, Scott and Nel among six recalled by Scotland|
|Bhuvneshwar and Dhawan inspire India´s Wanderers win|
|Napoli set club record with another Serie A win|
|Froome disappoints in time trial as Wellens wins Ruta del Sol|
|Napoli 1 SPAL 0: Allan sends hosts top of Serie A again|
|Federer makes short work of disappointing Dimitrov|
|Allegri allays Higuain injury fears|
|Blackhawks fans ejected after racist heckling of Capitals´ Smith-Pelly|
|Allegri convinced Juve can get past Spurs|
|Sri Lanka sweep series after dominating Bangladesh|
|Everton fear ´long-term´ injury for Mangala|
|If it isn´t Madrid, it´s Paris - Hazard tires of speculation|
|Luiten claims Oman Open title|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Champions win derby but lose Higuain|
|Neymar exit made Barcelona stronger - Ter Stegen|
|Remove T20 cricket from international schedule - Bayliss|
|Injured Higuain forced off against Torino|
|Jesus confident of returning strong after knee injury|
|DeGale launches Twitter attack on beaten Eubank Jr|
|We had to change hotels – Ovrebo recalls fury after 2009 Chelsea-Barcelona semi-final|
|Spalletti: Inter board will decide my future|
|Munro blitz helps Black Caps progress despite defeat|