By Reuters

World number one Rafa Nadal lost his first set of the tournament but rode out a spirited challenge from Nick Kyrgios to move into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the 12th time with a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (6) 7-6(4) victory on Monday.

8b2e60a71c8199876ccf41de989c9050 640x406 - Top seed Nadal rides out Kyrgios challenge to reach quarter-finals

Tennis – Australian Open – Fourth Round – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 27, 2020. Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his match against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios. (REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Australian Kyrgios was a match for the 19-times Grand Slam champion in the second and for most of the third set but the muscle-bound Spaniard always looked like the most likely winner once he got his nose back in front.

Kyrgios broke back when Nadal was serving for the match in the fourth set to reignite the contest and bring the partisan Rod Laver Arena crowd back into the equation.

The top seed gritted his teeth and went again in the tiebreak, however, moving through to a last-eight meeting with Austrian Dominic Thiem when Kyrgios netted a forehand after three hours and 38 minutes.

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