MELBOURNE, January 21, 2018
Marin Cilic, the No. 6 seed recorded his 100th Grand Slam match-win on Sunday when he defeated No. 10 seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7, 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 on Margaret Court Arena.
The 29-year-old Croat struck 20 aces, winning 81 per cent of his first service points to secure victory in three hours and 27 minutes.
“It was a big battle. I was really relieved I played such a good tiebreaker at the end,” said Cilic, who captured the US Open title four years ago. “I had the 300th win of my career at the US Open in 2014, so this is also beautiful one. I hope I’m going to continue and gather three more here.”
Cilic has become just the second Croatian man to reach multiple quarterfinals at Melbourne Park, after Goran Ivanisevic. He will next take on Rafael Nadal, who edged past Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 in three hours and 51 minutes.
“Diego is a great player. He was serving well. It was a great battle. He is a good friend of mine and I wish him all the best for the rest of the season,” said Nadal, who has powered into the round of 16 without dropping a set, has equaled Stefan Edberg in second place on the list for most quarterfinal appearances at the Australian Open.
“I feel a bit tired but I was able to keep fighting until the end in the first tough match of the season, which gives me confidence. Reaching the quarterfinals are great news.”
Cilic and Nadal will meet for the seventh time with the World No. 1 leading 5-1 in their head-to-head records.