Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 26 JUNE
Six-time champion Williams beat rising Briton Jo Konta 6-2, 6-3 while Nadal fended off the big-serving Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6, 6-4. Here’s how they did it.
Williams at her best
For the first time in three years, Nadal is into the last four of the Australian Open and the Spaniard is loving it. Having lost to Raonic in Brisbane two weeks earlier, there were a few nerves, especially in the second set when the Canadian had six set points, despite battling an adductor injury.
But that’s where the old Nadal came to the fore, fighting for every point, snuffing out the danger, pinching the tiebreak and then taking the with his trademark forehand up the line.
Both arms outstretched, he sucked in the applause as he marched into the semi-finals. There were plenty who were not sure Nadal would be back at this stage of a slam after all his battles with injury and he, it seems, was one of them.
“I think I am not a very arrogant person so I always had doubts,” he said. “Even when I was winning a lot I had doubts so you can imagine what I feel when I had injuries. I had a great career but a lot of tough moments and that makes me enjoy the good moments like today even more."
Eight years on from his one Australian Open triumph, Nadal will play Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals after the Bulgarian beat Belgium’s David Goffin 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. “I knew it was not going to be easy and in the first set it was nerve-wracking,” said Dimitrov, who reached his only other semi-final at Wimbledon in 2014.
“I’m just happy now. Either way it’s not an easy match. I’m just humbled to be in the semis.”
First Marc Polmans and Andrew Whittington beat top seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 in the men’s event and then the top seeds in the women’s doubles went out too, beaten 7-6, 6-2 by Czech Lucie Hradecka and Shuai Peng of China.
Quote of the day
“If you don’t want to watch this match, you don’t like tennis,” Rafael Nadal on the prospect of watching Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka in the first semi-final on Thursday
Shot of the day
Nadal’s forehand was working well but this was as good as any.