Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer stayed on course for a possible semi-final showdown at the Australian Open by recording facile wins in their respective fourth round matches on Rod Laver Arena today. Nadal playing against good friend and compatriot Feliciano Lopez coasted to a routine 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win, while Federer came through a potentially tricky encounter against Aussie teenager Bernard Tomic, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. Standing in the way of an epic Nadal and Federer showdown are a couple of really big men in Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro, respectively. Berdych needed almost 4 hours to beat an angry Aussie crowd and 10th seed Nicolas Almagro, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6, while Del Potro cruised past Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.
2009 Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal hasn't made it past the quarter-finals here in Melbourne since his triumph, and will get a chance to rectify that anomaly later this week. In his fourth round match against Davis Cup teammate and fellow left-hander Feliciano Lopez, Rafa continued to serve significantly better than in year's past and used the kick serve on the deuce court to excellent effect. Nadal would be disappointed though with his inability to make the most of his chances, breaking only once from 9 opportunities in the first set. He did better in the next two sets, breaking 4 times in 9 chances to earn his quarter-final stripes.