By defeating Diego Schwartzman and by reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals for the 10th time, Rafael Nadal has made sure he will remain world number one no matter what happens during the rest of the Melbourne-based tournament.
Roger Federer could win the tournament and the Spaniard could lose his next match, but even that wouldn’t give the Swiss player enough ATP points to leapfrog his long-time rival.
For Nadal, this match against Schwartzman wasn’t the easiest and he even lost the second set, but he achieved a 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 victory in the end, after an intense three hours and 51 minutes.
The 31-year-old was made to sweat, especially as he was the one doing most of the running, given how deep he was positioned behind the baseline.
Next in his path is Marin Cilic and the Spaniard will need all the rest he can get over the next day to approach that game with energy.