Rafael Nadal claimed his 21st Major crown at the last year's Australian Open. Alongside many thrilling moments during the fortnight, including an epic final, Rafa embraced a marvelous 30-minute tie break versus Adrian Mannarino in the fourth round!
Nadal defeated Mannarino 7-6, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and 40 minutes. The tie break took half an hour alone, as they pushed each other to the limits before Nadal prevailed 16-14 and gained a massive boost. He broke Mannarino's resistance in sets two and three, dropping four games and sailing into the next round.
Mannarino lost only a few points behind the initial shot in the opening set, keeping the pressure on the other side. Rafa faced a break point at 5-5 and saved it with a service winner to avoid the setback. A left-handed Frenchman fired a service winner in the 12th game to introduce a tie break that went down to the wire!
Nadal claimed three straight points from 4-2 down and gained the advantage with a service winner.
Rafael Nadal and Adrian Mannarino played a 30-minute tie break at Melbourne Park.
The Spaniard earned two set points at 5-4 with a brilliant forehand crosscourt winner.
The Frenchman stayed focused and saved both with brave hitting for 6-6. Adrian saved another set point at 6-7 with an unreturned serve and wasted his chance at 8-7 following Rafa's service winner. Nadal squandered two more set points at 10-9 and 11-10 before Mannarino earned three opportunities at 12-11, 13-12 and 14-13.
Rafa erased them with winners to prolong the battle, eager to take the set. The Spaniard seized the seventh set point at 15-14 after Adrian's volley error at the net for a massive boost after an hour and 20 minutes of a grueling battle!
Nadal barely lost a point behind the initial shot in set number two and broke in the opening game for a considerable advantage. Rafa delivered another return game at 3-1 with a backhand winner and held at love with a forehand winner at 5-2 for two sets to love advantage.
The Spaniard seized the fifth break chance at the beginning of the third set after the Frenchman's loose forehand. Mannarino placed a perfect lob winner in the second game for three break chances and seized the first after Nadal's double fault.
Rafa earned three break opportunities in the third game, and Adrian fended them off with fine hitting. Mannarino denied two more break points before losing ground on the sixth to get broken after a wayward volley. Adrian hit a double fault to lose serve in game five and fall 4-1 behind.
Rafa served for the victory at 5-2 and created three match points with a forehand winner. The Spaniard converted the first with an ace for a place in the quarter-final.