Ruthless Rafael Nadal continued his relentless progress to reach the last four of the Australian Open as he slayed giantkiller Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Tuesday.
Unseeded Tiafoe, 21, had shocked fifth seed Kevin Anderson and Grigor Dimitrov, seeded 20, but the 17-time Grand Slam champion proved too formidable for the popular American in his first major quarterfinal.
The Spanish No 2 seed sprinted through in 107 minutes and will face another emerging star, the 20-year-old Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals.
“I had some trouble at this event all my career so I am very happy with the way I played tonight,” said Nadal, who retired from last year’s quarterfinal injured against Marin Cilic.
The Spaniard has been in irresistible form in Australia in his first tournament since limping out of the US Open and having foot surgery.
If he wins his 18th Grand Slam title in Melbourne to move two behind Roger Federer he will create his own slice of history by becoming the first man in the Open-era, and only the third of all-time along with Roy Emerson and Rod Laver, to win each Grand Slam on two or more occasions.