Rafael Nadal said he never felt comfortable during his straight-sets Australian Open win over Fabio Fognini, despite the convincing scoreline.
The Spaniard reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne thanks to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over the Italian, who is one of only two players to have come back from two sets down to beat the 20-time Grand Slam winner ever.
Fognini had been in a commanding position in the second set on Monday but Nadal rattled off four straight games to double his advantage in the match.
"When you go on court in the round of 16 against a great player like Fabio, you are worried in every moment," he said in his post-match interview.
"At the same time, you can't expect to go on court and not have problems facing this kind of player.
"In the second set, I don't think I played a good game when he broke me, I was lucky to get the break back immediately. Then I saved [break points] at 0-40 – that was the key."
'Worried in every moment' - Nadal never comfortable in win over Fognini
Nadal faces a last-eight match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, and spoke about the quarter-final before the news that Matteo Berrettini had withdrawn due to injury.
"In quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, you're going to face a very tough opponent. They are both young, strong and with a lot of energy. It's going to be a big challenge. I'm happy to be through today. It was an important victory for my confidence, for everything."
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Nadal went into the tournament nursing a back issue but says that he is slowly beginning to feel like his usual self heading into the crunch period of the tournament.
"I'm happy that the back is holding better. Tomorrow is going to be an important day of practice again. I hope to be able to do it well, let's see if I can play a good match."
Unusually for Nadal, he was playing in the day session at Melbourne Park but admitted that, despite the humidity, he preferred the hotter conditions as they suit his game more than night matches.
"Today was very humid, warm. But the conditions are quicker during the day, and honestly I liked it a bit more.
"I like the ball flying a bit faster in the air but I need to adapt to every single condition. That's why I am here, to be ready for every condition, something that I think I haven't experienced."
'I played better and better' - Nadal reflects on win over Fognini
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