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'monster' nadal on a revenge tip

By unknown | Jan 26, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

MELBOURNE - Spain's Rafa Nadal is a monster on court but the softest-spoken of gentlemen off it.

As mild-mannered as he is, he could be forgiven if he has Australian Open revenge on his mind ahead of Monday's fourth round clash against Fernando Gonzalez.

The last time the pair clashed at Melbourne Park was in 2007 and on that occasion the Chilean walloped Nadal for the loss of just nine games 6-2 6-4 6-3.

It was a humbling quarter-final defeat for the left-handed powerhouse.

Since then, though, Nadal has won the pair's last three meetings to own a slight 4-3 advantage in their head-to-head record.

Nadal won Olympic gold in Beijing last August with a 6-3 7-6 6-3 win over the silver-medallist Chilean.

"He's coming with big confidence after two big wins against (Lleyton) Hewitt the first round, and right now against (Richard) Gasquet with unbelievable comeback, from two sets down," Nadal said.

But Gonzalez was preparing by keeping his mind off the clash with the world number one.

Meanwhile three-time champion Roger Federer mounted one of the greatest comebacks of his career yesterday when he recovered from a two-set deficit to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

Czech 20th seed Tomas Berdych was on course for an almighty upset when he froze in the third set, with Federer finally winning 4-6 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-4 6-2 to stay on course for a record-equalling 14th Grand Slam title.

Federer, 27, has not come back from two sets down since 2005, when he fought past Rafael Nadal in the Miami Masters final.

Also, he has not failed to reach a Grand Slam quarter-finals since the 2004 French Open. - Reuters


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