With the top two seeds — Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic — out of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2017 is there for the taking.
No. 3 Milos Raonic is set to take on No. 9 Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. The two are expected on the court at 3:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
Raonic is now the tournament’s top seed in the men’s draw.
Raonic advanced to the Australian Open quarter-final for the third straight year with a four-set victory over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut. Nadal advanced with a hard-fought victory over world No. 6 Gael Monfils. 4
VAMOS! #Nadal is through to the quarters!
Ahead of Raonic and Nadal’s quarter-final match, let’s take a look at how the duo compare.
Raonic and Nadal have met eight times, with the Spaniard winning six. However, Raonic has bested Nadal in two of their last three meetings — including winning 19 days ago in the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
With his serve as his best weapon, Raonic blew 23 aces past Nadal.
Grand Slam career
Raonic has yet to win a major championship but had a successful 2016, appearing in the semifinals at the Australian Open as well as in the final in Wimbledon. Both of those eventual loses came against world No. 1 Andy Murray — who was recently upset by 50th ranked Mischa Zverev.
Nadal, on the other hand, has won 14 career Grand Slam titles but hasn’t hoisted a major trophy since the 2014 French Open. The 30-year-old won the Australian Open once in his career (2009).
By the numbers
Age: 30 (Nadal), 26 (Raonic)
Singles titles: 69 (Nadal), 8 (Raonic)
Career prize money: $ 71.7M US (Nadal) / $ 14.4M (Raonic)
Raonic on seeking first major championship: “It sort of crosses your mind. I have some very difficult tasks ahead of me. I’m pretty intent on staying in that moment, in that sort of challenge one at a time.” — The Associated Press
Nadal on facing Raonic: “If I am not playing aggressive, then I am dead, because he plays aggressive.” — Herald Sun