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Rediff.com  » Sports » Aus Open PHOTOS: Murray eases into quarters, Raonic stuns Wawrinka

Aus Open PHOTOS: Murray eases into quarters, Raonic stuns Wawrinka

Last updated on: January 25, 2016 19:13 IST

 IMAGES from Day 8 of the Australian Open, at Melbourne Park, on Monday.

Canada's Milos Raonic (right) and Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka speak at the net

IMAGE: Canada's Milos Raonic (right) and Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka speak at the net after the former won their fourth round match at the Australian Open. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Milos Raonic fended off a spirited comeback from fourth seed Stan Wawrinka to send the 2014 champion tumbling out of the fourth round 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3.

The 25-year-old Canadian, who had never beaten the French Open champion in four previous meetings, fired 24 aces and hit 82 winners in the three hour, 44 minute contest to reach the quarter-finals for the second year in a row.

Swiss Wawrinka fought back from losing the first two sets to force a decider but was unable to avoid exiting a grand slam before the quarter-finals for the first time since the 2014 French Open.

Raonic sealed the victory with a simple volley at the net to set up a quarter-final against France's Gael Monfils.

Murray eases past Tomic

Great Britain's Andy Murray plays a forehand in his fourth round match against Australia's Bernard Tomic

IMAGE: Great Britain's Andy Murray plays a forehand in his fourth round match against Australia's Bernard Tomic. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Second seed Andy Murray had his feathers ruffled but scrapped his way into the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over local world number 17 Bernard Tomic.

The Briton, four-times a runner-up at Melbourne Park, was close to exasperation after being broken four times by the talented Australian but dug deep when it mattered to reach the last eight for the seventh year in a row.

Tomic showed flashes of the quality that has had Australia raving about his potential since his early teens but was unable to maintain the level of his performance for sufficiently long periods to cause an upset.

Murray clinched the third set tiebreak when Tomic went long with a return after two and a half hours on Rod Laver Arena to set up a quarter-final meeting with Spanish eighth seed David Ferrer.

Zhang first qualifier in 26 years to reach quarter-finals

China's Zhang Shuai celebrates after winning her fourth round match against Madison Keys of the US

IMAGE: China's Zhang Shuai celebrates after winning her fourth round match against Madison Keys of the US. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

China's Zhang Shuai became the first women's qualifier since 1990 to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals after beating a hobbling Madison Keys 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Monday.

The 15th-seeded Keys had comfortably won the opening set but was broken by the Chinese in the third game of the second and immediately took a medical time out for treatment to what appeared to be a left leg injury.

American Keys then found it difficult to move around the court and the 27-year-old Zhang used that to her advantage to make the American chase the ball and send it to a decider.

Keys, a semi-finalist last year, looked on the verge of retiring several times in the deciding set but battled on grimly despite being in obvious pain.

The 133rd-ranked Zhang struggled to control her nerves in the decider, but eventually held it together to set up a quarter-final against unseeded Briton Johanna Konta.

The last qualifier to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals was Mexico's Angelica Gavaldon in 1990.

"I was very lucky today," a smiling Zhang said in an on-court interview.

Monfils flies into quarters

Gael Monfils

IMAGE: Gael Monfils of France dives for a forehand in his fourth round match against Andrey Kuznestov of Russia at the Australian Open. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Gael Monfils was hailed as 'Superman' after another customary acrobatic dive filled photographers' lenses and set social media alight.

Monfils, however, was more satisfied with the fact that he had gone on to beat Andrey Kuznetsov 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) to advance to his first quarter-final at Melbourne Park, against Milos Raonic.

And while he had no regrets with the spectacular dive, he admitted that it did hurt.

"It's very painful," he told reporters. "I cannot even grip anything right now.

"I have a deep cut. That's nothing. But I have a bruise. I'm lucky to not have a fracture.

"I am not a rock."

Former champion Azarenka in last eight

Belarus' Victoria Azarenka celebrates after winning her fourth round match against Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova at the Australian Open

IMAGE: Belarus' Victoria Azarenka celebrates after winning her fourth round match against Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova at the Australian Open. Photograph: Brandon Malone/Reuters

Twice champion Victoria Azarenka reached her fifth quarter-final with a 6-2, 6-4 win over unseeded Czech Barbora Strycova.

The former world number one has been in irresistible form at Melbourne Park, winning her four matches without dropping a set, and had too many weapons for Strycova, who scrapped hard but was edged in the baseline battles.

Azarenka captured the decisive break in the seventh game of the final set and saved two break points at 4-3 before closing out the match in one hour and 26 minutes.

Azarenka's bid for a third Melbourne Park title continues against German seventh seed Angelique Kerber.

Ferrer negates Isner's power to reach quarters

Spain's David Ferrer plays a forehand during his fourth round match against USA's John Isner

IMAGE: Spain's David Ferrer plays a forehand during his fourth round match against USA's John Isner. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

David Ferrer negated John Isner's booming serve to beat the towering American 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 and advance to his sixth Australian Open quarter-final on Monday.

The 33-year-old Spaniard, considered one of the best retrievers in the game, nullified the 2.08m (6'10") tall Isner's serve and broke once in each set to set up a quarter-final with either Australia's Bernard Tomic or second seed Andy Murray.

Isner has served the most aces (119) in the tournament and recorded the third fastest serve of 226 kph but with Ferrer's ability to return and run down balls, needed to put pressure on the eighth-seed's serve.

The 30-year-old American, however, only had three break-point opportunities the entire match, two of which were in the eighth game in the first set, but he wasted them all and Ferrer was able to win the important points when he needed to.

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