Daniil Medvedev drew inspiration from Novak Djokovic in order to complete a storming comeback against Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Australian Open.

The Russian was two sets down and facing a quarter-final exit at the hands of his on-song opponent, but he dug deep to roar back and set up a last-four showdown with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

After sealing a memorable 6-7 (4-7) 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 6-4 victory under the roof on Rod Laver Arena, Medvedev revealed that asking himself what world number one Djokovic would do had provided the catalyst for his revival. 

Asked how he managed to win a contest in which he had looked down and out, the US Open champion responded: "I have no idea.

"Talking about the match point, I managed to serve well. If I had a second serve who knows what would have happened.

"I was not playing my best. Felix served unbelievable; I was all over the place.

"Then, I thought to myself, what would Novak do? So I said, 'I am going to make him work'.

"I managed to raise my level and when they closed the roof I was able to go through momentum and I started playing better."

Medvedev, who was beaten by Djokovic in last year's Melbourne final, faced a match point against Auger-Aliassime in the fourth set before finding his groove.

He rode his luck at times, with Auger-Aliassime only converting two of his 11 break points as Medvedev improved his record in meetings between the pair to 4-0.

Daniil Medvedev came from two sets down to defeat Felix Auger-Aliassime and reach the Australian Open semi-final.

The world number two battled to a 6-7 (4-7) 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 6-4 victory in a thrilling contest on Rod Laver Arena, where 2021 runner-up Medvedev fended off a match point in the fourth set.

He will now face Stefanos Tsitsipas in what is his second consecutive last-four outing at this tournament after improving his head-to-head record against Auger-Aliassime to 4-0.

Medvedev and Auger-Aliassime met in the semi-finals of last year's US Open, when the former prevailed in straight sets en route to winning the title.

But the Russian, beaten by Novak Djokovic in last year's final, was soon on the back foot in Melbourne, handing Auger-Aliassime a break point at 5-5 when he misjudged a shot that he thought was going out, but dropped in.

Medvedev then compounded that error with a double fault, but Auger-Aliassime fluffed his own lines as he failed to serve out the set before redeeming himself in the tie-break.

Auger-Aliassime continued that momentum in the second set, breaking in a mammoth second game after doggedly staying in a long rally before his opponent pushed a forehand wide.

Facing a two-set deficit, Medvedev battled hard in the third as that too went to a tie-break, which he was leading 2-1 when rain arrived and forced the roof to be closed.

He wasted little time getting the job done once play resumed, Auger-Aliassime finally showing signs of weakness as a couple of unforced errors sealed his fate in a one-sided breaker.

Medvedev survived a match point at 5-4 down in the fourth and reeled off three games in a row as he began to combine power and precision to level matters and tee up a decider.

After fending off three break points in his opening service game, it was Medvedev who broke decisively in game three to claim an advantage that he clung onto in the face of spirited resistance from his Canadian opponent.

DATA SLAM: Medvedev continues head-to-head dominance

This was the fourth meeting between these two and Medvedev had only previously lost one of eight sets.

But it threatened to be a very different story on Wednesday before the US Open champion clicked into gear to continue his dominance of the pair's head-to-head record.

Auger-Aliassime will be left to lament his failure to seize on a match-point opportunity as he converted only two of his 11 break points.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev – 49/53
Auger-Aliassime – 64/75

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev  – 15/9
Auger-Aliassime – 18/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev  – 3/5
Auger-Aliassime – 2/11

Stefanos Tsitsipas revealed he had defied the expectations of his doctor after surging into the Australian Open semi-finals.

The world number four underwent surgery on his right elbow in November and barely had any competitive court time leading into the tournament in Melbourne.

His doctor suggested that taking part in the first grand slam of 2022 was a remote prospect, but the Greek reached the last four on Wednesday after a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win over Jannik Sinner.

"I'm pretty sure my doctor is watching right now," the 23-year-old said in his on-court interview. 

"We both didn't expect for me to be here, it was not part of our plan. He told me he didn't see me playing in Australia but I proved him wrong.

"He's a big tennis enthusiast and I am happy I found the right person to bring me back even stronger."

Tsitsipas outclassed Sinner on Rod Laver Arena to move into a second consecutive Australian Open semi-final and third in four years.

The Greek fourth seed broke early in each set on his way to a third win in four meetings with 11th seed Sinner, who was playing his second grand slam quarter-final.

Not even a brief rain delay that led to the roof being closed early in the second set could slow Tsitsipas, who delivered his best performance of the tournament so far.

"I am very, very happy with the way I served and used my tactics," he said. "Having the crowd support, it is truly unbelievable.

"It is part of the game. You never know what to expect from the weather. I knew I was heading towards the right direction.

"The conditions might have changed a little bit – slightly faster, not as bouncy – so my mind did. I tried to adapt and it just worked."

Tsitsipas will face either Daniil Medvedev or Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semi-finals.

Stefanos Tsitsipas produced a strong performance to brush aside Jannik Sinner and move into his third Australian Open semi-final.

Tsitsipas outclassed the talented 20-year-old from Italy with an impressive 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.

The Greek fourth seed broke early in each set on his way to a third win in four meetings with 11th seed Sinner, who was playing his second grand slam quarter-final.

Not even a brief rain delay that led to the roof being closed early in the second set could slow Tsitsipas, who delivered his best performance of the tournament so far.

Tsitsipas will face either Daniil Medvedev or Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semi-finals.

 

Tsitsipas made an impressive start, landing an early break following a pair of forehand errors from Sinner, moving into a 3-0 lead.

Spurred on by a contingent of singing Greek fans, Tsitsipas closed out the opening set, set up by his fast start.

Tsitsipas created another opportunity for an early break in the second set after firing a backhand winner down the line at 30-30 in the third game.

Sinner was unable to deny the Greek star, a backhand cross-court flying wide to hand Tsitsipas the upper-hand.

Not even an unexpected rain delay on a hot and humid day in Melbourne could disrupt Tsitsipas' momentum, with the roof closed after the third game.

Like the first set, there was little pressure on either player's service games, but Tsitsipas' single break was again enough for him to take a two-sets-to-love lead.

A brilliant backhand pass down the line set up break points in the third game of the third set for Tsitsipas, converted when Sinner sent a forehand into the net.

Tsitsipas broke again to take a 4-1 lead on his way to a convincing victory and the semi-finals, starting to find the form to suggest he could be a threat for the title in Melbourne.

 

DATA SLAM: Tsitsipas stays perfect in major quarter-finals

The quarter-finals have proven to be no hurdle for Tsitsipas.

He improved to 5-0 in grand slam quarters, including 3-0 at Melbourne Park. Tsitsipas is playing his fifth Australian Open main draw and has reached the semis three times.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Tsitsipas – 30/28
Sinner – 18/22

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Tsitsipas – 4/2
Sinner – 4/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Tsitsipas – 4/4
Sinner – 0/0

Alize Cornet "felt out of breath all the time" during her Australian Open quarter-final loss to Danielle Collins.

Collins was too good for Cornet in a 7-5 6-1 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, reaching her second Australian Open semi-final in four years.

The American 27th seed hit 28 winners and 29 unforced errors in a strong performance against Cornet, who was playing her maiden major quarter-final.

Cornet said Collins, who will face Iga Swiatek in the last four, never allowed her to settle at Melbourne Park.

"Well, she's very powerful, even more than what I expected. Her ball is going really fast in the air and she takes the ball super early," the Frenchwoman said.

"All the time you feel really oppressed. I felt out of breath all the time. I couldn't, like, place my game. She just never let me do it, never gave me the time to do it. Yeah, she's impressive.

"But today she was pretty quiet. She didn't scream that much. When I see her playing on TV, sometimes she's yelling, 'C'mon.' She looks like a lion.

"Today I don't think I gave her enough battle so she could express herself."

Collins was playing her first quarter-final since the 2020 French Open and dictated from the outset against Cornet.

The 28-year-old hopes her experience in the latter stages of tournaments helps her late in the Australian Open.

"Yeah, I think now that I've made quarter-finals at French and semi-finals here before, I think I can use those experiences to certainly help me in the tight-pressure moments on court. I can use that to my advantage," Collins said.

"Last time I was here in the semi-finals I had never done that before. I've made some deeper runs in tournaments since then. Hopefully I can carry the confidence that I've gained over the last couple years and be able to use that to my advantage."

Iga Swiatek came through a huge battle against Kaia Kanepi to advance to the Australian Open semi-finals on Wednesday.

Swiatek, the Polish seventh seed, made her second grand slam semi after a 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 victory over Kanepi on a warm day on Rod Laver Arena.

The 2020 French Open champion held off Kanepi, who suffered a seventh defeat in as many grand slam quarter-finals.

Swiatek fought hard and needed three hours, one minute to progress to a meeting with American 27th seed Danielle Collins.

The steadier start was made by Swiatek, with Kanepi saving break points in each of her opening three service games.

But the Pole was having some trouble with her serve, a fifth double fault giving Kanepi a break point in the seventh game, the Estonian converting with a fine forehand return winner.

Swiatek held after a gruelling 16-minute ninth game, saving four set points as the Rod Laver Arena crowd started to come to life.

Kanepi had won only one set in her six previous grand slam quarter-finals, but she eventually served out the opener against Swiatek, converting her ninth set point.

After Kanepi broke in the opening game of the second set, Swiatek – who was starting to move the veteran around the court – reeled off four straight games.

However, Kanepi responded, a pair of Swiatek double faults helping her break back in the seventh game on the way to a tie-break.

Swiatek was the more consistent of the two players in the tie-break to send the quarter-final into a deciding set.

After the players traded breaks early in the third set, Swiatek took a 3-2 lead after Kanepi sent a forehand narrowly wide before managing a tough hold in the sixth game.

Swiatek charged into a 5-2 lead and while her attempt at serving it out did not go to plan, she sealed her win with another break after a tremendous defensive point.

 

DATA SLAM: Swiatek hard to beat at majors

It takes a fair bit to beat Swiatek at a grand slam.

The 20-year-old is now 30-2 at majors against opponents ranked outside the top 30 after getting past world number 115 Kanepi.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Swiatek – 31/50
Kanepi – 35/62

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Swiatek – 5/12
Kanepi – 5/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Swiatek – 6/13
Kanepi – 5/13

Michael Venus hit out at Nick Kyrgios after bowing out of the men's doubles at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The Kiwi and Tim Putz were beaten 7-5 3-6 6-3 by Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis in the quarter-finals at a loud Kia Arena.

But Venus was unhappy with Kyrgios, slamming the Australian for his antics.

"There'll always be his supporters and he'll always spin it in a way that helps him, but at the end of the day he's just an absolute k***," he told 1News.

"I think it just speaks for him. His maturity level, it's probably being generous to a 10-year-old to say it's at about that level."

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have embarked on a memorable run to the semi-finals of the men's doubles, with crowds flocking to their matches.

Despite his criticism of Kyrgios, Venus also praised the two-time grand slam singles quarter-finalist's talent.

"He's an unbelievable tennis player, what he does on the tennis court, what he can do out there, his tennis IQ on the court, it is amazing and he's definitely on that side of things one of the best players in the world," he said.

"But from the maturity side of things you see why he's never fulfilled his potential and probably never will."

Danielle Collins ended Alize Cornet's dream run and reached her second Australian Open semi-final with a straight-sets win on Wednesday.

Collins moved into the last four in Melbourne for the second time in four years thanks to a 7-5 6-1 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Australia Day.

The American 27th seed, who will face either Iga Swiatek or Kaia Kanepi in the semi-finals, was in solid form in warm conditions.

Collins was the aggressor throughout against Cornet, who was playing her maiden grand slam quarter-final in her 63rd main-draw appearance.

 

It was Collins who dictated the majority of points from the baseline early and landed a break of serve in the fourth game.

Cornet saved three break points, but there was no denying Collins on her fourth opportunity, a powerful return setting up a simple volley winner for a 3-1 lead.

Collins looked the more comfortable in the warm weather, but Cornet hung in there and broke back when her opponent was trying to serve out the first set, the American's backhand letting her down with three unforced errors.

But Cornet dropped the first set when serving to stay in it, saving two set points but not a third – set up with a Collins forehand winner down the line – as she framed a forehand long.

Collins crushed a forehand return winner to break serve in the second game of the second set to take complete control of proceedings.

She broke to love to grab a 4-0 lead, cruising through the second set on her way to another last-four appearance in Melbourne.

 

DATA SLAM: Contender Collins finding consistency

The dangerous Collins has found consistency since the back end of last year.

She is now 31-7 since July 12, 2021 and will be hard to stop by either Swiatek or Kanepi in the semi-finals.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Collins – 28/29
Cornet – 11/17

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Collins – 5/4
Cornet – 2/0

BREAK POINTS WON
Collins – 4/9
Cornet – 1/3

Rafael Nadal almost pulled out of the Australian Open just days before heading to Melbourne, according to his uncle.

The 35-year-old battled past Denis Shapovalov on Tuesday to reach the semi-finals of the tournament for just the third time since 2016.

Nadal, who is chasing a record 21st grand slam title to break the three-way tie with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, has only won the first major of the year once in his career – back in 2009 – and lost at the quarter-final stage in 2020 and 2021.

Even with nine-time champion Djokovic not competing after being deported by border authorities over a visa dispute, few considered Nadal to be the favourite for the title this year given he went from August to December in 2021 without playing a match, having undergone surgery on a foot injury.

Nadal has looked in strong form, though, even recovering from apparent stomach trouble and difficulty in the heat to beat Shapovalov 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 after more than four hours of action on Rod Laver Arena.

Toni Nadal, his coach for most of his professional career, said his nephew nearly decided against competing at all in Australia as he did not feel ready.

Asked if he were surprised by Nadal's form, he told Cadena SER: "Yes, I'm surprised, because I remember when three days before the start, Rafa called my youngest son to hit a few balls after being quarantined due to coronavirus.

"At nine o'clock, we went to train and during training, he said, 'I don't know if I'm going to go or not because at the moment I'm not in condition for an Australian Open'. They only had three days to get a flight.

"The following day, he perked up and said 'Okay, come on, I'm going'. I think it was more the excitement of competing and returning to competition than believing in himself."

Speaking about the quarter-final, Toni Nadal said his brother in Australia told the family about the problems with the heat on court.

"He looked good. In the first two sets, he played at quite a good level against a tough opponent," he said.

"Everything changed as a result of heatstroke. We were watching the game with the family and at one point, after the second set, I said, 'well, I think this is done', and my brother in Australia said no, he's literally exhausted, and he'd told them he had had heatstroke."

Shapovalov lost his temper with umpire Carlos Bernardes during the match for refusing to give Nadal a time violation during a change of ends, proclaiming "You guys are all corrupt" before claiming post-match that players such as Nadal receive preferential treatment on court.

 

"I think he is totally wrong," said Toni. "When you have to change, you need time and the umpire normally looks at the players and sees the time and starts the clock later. He pressed too soon, realised it and that's why he gave Rafa more time.

"Young people sometimes act without thinking. How could an umpire be corrupt?"

Matteo Berrettini became the first Italian man to reach the Australian Open semi-finals after outlasting Gael Monfils on Tuesday.

Berrettini had appeared to be on course for a dominant victory, and although Monfils fought back to make it tough, the 25-year-old got the job done 6-4 6-4 3-6 3-6 6-2 in a gruelling encounter.

Monfils had an uphill struggle amid a sloppy start, with Berrettini breaking to love in the fifth game as the Frenchman committed two unforced errors and a double fault.

That proved to be the only opportunity Berrettini needed, and he subsequently had few issues seeing out the set from there, though Monfils initially appeared sharper early in the second.

An astonishing fourth game then left Monfils looking dejected as Berrettini somehow survived 10 deuces to hold serve after almost 20 minutes – the 25 points played here were almost half the first-set total (55).

Berrettini sensed the mood and went for the kill, losing just two points on serve before going on to close out the set to love.

A reaction did come, however. Monfils finally got his first break of serve as Berrettini's first double fault gifted him a lifeline, the 35-year-old then easing through the rest of the third set.

He kept that up in the fourth as well, with two huge forehand winners helping Monfils go a break up to take charge before ultimately levelling the match, but Berrettini had too much in the decider as he broke in the first game.

Berrettini raced into a 4-0 lead and, although Monfils did pull a couple of games back, the Italian was out of sight and clinched a deserved victory that saw him grab a slice of history.

DATA SLAM: Berrettini holds his nerve at the crucial moment

Having lost the previous two sets heading into the decider, it could have been very tempting for Berrettini to completely change up his game, but he remained very focused on accuracy and essentially letting Monfils shoot himself in the foot.

Berrettini made no double faults and just four unforced errors in the final set, compared to Monfils' combined total of 11, 10 of which came during rallies. The Italian won 80 per cent of his points on serve in the fifth and that mentality was crucial in outlasting his opponent.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Berrettini – 51/50

Monfils – 48/51

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Berrettini – 12/2

Monfils – 15/7

BREAK POINTS WON

Berrettini – 4/11

Monfils – 3/14

Rafael Nadal's happiness does not depend on finishing his career with more grand slam titles than rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Nadal edged out Denis Shapovalov in a five-set epic on Tuesday to reach the Australian Open semi-finals.

The Spaniard has only won the season's opening grand slam once, back in 2009. However, the field has opened up for him this year, with reigning champion Djokovic unable to compete and 40-year-old Federer taking his time to return from knee surgery.

Nadal, Djokovic and Federer are all tied on 20 grand slams each, meaning the next of the trio to win a major will set a new record.

While Nadal is hoping to go all the way in Melbourne, he insisted his career satisfaction does not depend on being the record holder.

"The fact that we are equal at 20, the only thing that says is that we share an amazing [time] of the history of our sport, and for me it's a real honour to be part of it, without a doubt," he said.

"I don't hope for anything. I just keep going. I am just enjoying playing tennis, as I said hundreds of times. Honestly, and from the bottom of my heart, I really don't [have certain expectations].

"Of course, I want to keep winning, but more than because I want to achieve or I want to have more than the others, because I love what I am doing. I want to keep doing this as long as possible.

 

"The last six months there have been a lot of doubts if I would be able to keep going. But now I feel good. We are in a position that I won a tournament, I'm in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, so that's amazing for me.

"In terms of what can happen in the future, honestly I really don't care that much. I don't believe that my happiness, my future happiness depends on if I achieve one more grand slam than the others or if the others achieve more grand slams than me.

"No, I am super satisfied and feel very lucky for all the things that happen to me. I have a way to approach life. You can't be always frustrated if the neighbour has a bigger house than you or a better phone or a better thing, no? I'm not going to be frustrated if Novak or Roger finishes their careers with more grand slams than me.

"Let's enjoy the situation, every one of us, we did very special things in our sport. Let's enjoy that."

Nadal lost to Djokovic in the Melbourne final in 2019. He has reached the showpiece match five times in total.

The world number five had not played a competitive game since August last year before he returned to action earlier this month, winning the Melbourne Summer Set.

Nadal had dropped just one set across the opening four rounds prior to his clash with Shapovalov, which finished 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3.

"Yeah, I have been playing well," Nadal added. "To play at this level against a player like [Shapovalov], that he's one of the best players of the world, and see myself again competitive against these kinds of players, for me it's everything.

"I'm just enjoying every single moment, try my best playing with the highest positive attitude possible and with the right spirit."

Ash Barty was told how her backhand slice has been compared to that of Roger Federer, but the women's top seed at the Australian Open is not convinced.

Barty produced a stellar display as she saw off Jessica Pegula in Tuesday's quarter-final, losing just two games over the entire duel as the American proved no match.

Her victory sets up a semi-final clash with another American, Madison Keys, with Barty aiming to reach the final of her home grand slam for the first time.

Barty was ruthless against Pegula, firing 17 winners to her opponent's seven, while she won five of the nine break points available to her.

But it was her backhand slice – one of the most recognisable shots in the women's game today – that was particularly notable to four-time grand slam winner Jim Courier in commentary, who compared Barty in this respect to Federer.

Not that Barty was having any of it.

"That's very kind from Jim," Barty told reporters afterwards. "I think everyone's shots are unique.

"I think obviously Roger has one of the most exceptional slice backhands in the game. Mine's a long way off that. Absolutely, no stretch of the imagination we are even on the same page at all.

"But I love to use my slice, I love to get creative with it, to use it offensively and defensively. Over my career I've learnt it is a weapon for me.

"I try and use it when I have to. Sometimes I try and use it when it's my choice and I can be really, really aggressive with it.

"But being able to use it with variety and have different options has been a massive part of my game through this last couple of years of my career."

When Barty faces Keys in the semi-final, she will have already matched her personal best at the Australian Open – she also reached the last four in 2020.

But the combination of being world number one for over two years and having two grand slams under her belt is helping her maintain focus this time around.

"[It's] a bit of both. I think the process hasn't changed, but obviously the familiarity of knowing what to expect or expect how my body feels and almost be able to deal with those emotions a little bit better has probably changed and grown as I've become more experienced," she continued.

"But the processes for us haven't changed regardless of whether it's a first round of the tournament, latter stage of a grand slam, it doesn't actually matter the process before we walk out on court.

"But it's exciting, and I think also being able to embrace the excitement of being in with a chance to play deep in your home slam, it's pretty cool. I think going out there and enjoying that and really embracing that experience helps for sure."

Rafael Nadal shot down Denis Shapovalov's suggestion that he receives special treatment from umpires after an epic Australian Open quarter-final tussle.

Shapovalov fell short of an incredible comeback against the record-chasing Nadal, who prevailed 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 after over four hours of action on Rod Laver Arena.

The match was full of tension, with Shapovalov furious that Nadal escaped a time violation for taking too long between the first and second sets. 

After umpire Carlos Bernardes refused to call time on Nadal's changeover, Shapovalov lost his temper, bursting out: "You guys are all corrupt."

The players subsequently met at the net for a discussion, but Shapovalov was frustrated again when, before the deciding set, Nadal left the court for a medical timeout having struggled with a stomach issue, but then also had a toilet break.

Asked in his post-match news conference if he felt Nadal received preferential treatment, Shapovalov said: "Of course. 100 per cent he does. 100 per cent."

Shapovalov's comments were put to Nadal in the Spaniard's own media conference.

"No. Not in that case, no, no," Nadal responded.

"I really believe that on the court you don't deserve better treatment than the others. I really don't want it and I don't feel I have it.

"Without a doubt, even as everybody knows, I have a huge respect for Carlos and I think he's a great umpire. Is it not the case that he was always hard with me on court, no?

"I really believe that it's always in the mind that the top players get bigger advantages. And on the court it's not true. That's my feeling. I never feel that I had advantages on the court, and I really believe that he's wrong in that case.

 

"I honestly feel sorry for him. I think he played a great match for a long time. Of course, it's tough to accept to lose a match like this, especially after I was feeling destroyed and probably he felt that, [but] then I was able to manage to win the match.

"I wish him all the very best. He's young, I think we all make mistakes on our careers. I made a lot of mistakes too when I was younger, and probably he will understand later on after he thinks the proper way that probably he was not right today."

Nadal also explained why he had to be given an extended amount of time in the changeover between the first and second sets.

"I took some extra time at the end of the first set because I had to change everything there on the chair, in the changeover," he said.

"I think in that case normally at the end of the sets the umpire gives you some extra time, especially under these very humid conditions to change the clothes, because that's obvious that you can't play with the clothes in the condition that I was [in].

"I think in that moment Denis got p***** because the umpire called time and I needed like 30 seconds extra to keep changing my clothes.

"I think it's fair that Carlos gave me this extra time at that moment. I think Carlos made a small mistake in calling time. Normally at the end of the set, the umpire looks around and waits a little bit to call time until the player is a little bit ready when he's changing, no?

"Denis was wrong in that case. I understand that he just lost the set and in some way he wanted to keep playing quick, but I think he understands that normally you have some time to change your clothes."

Nadal improved his record in grand slam quarter-finals to 36-9. He is now 7-7 in Australian Open quarter-finals after surviving the Shapovalov battle, far worse than his record at the French Open (14-1), Wimbledon (7-0) and US Open (8-1).

Denis Shapovalov regrets labelling umpire Carlos Bernardes as "corrupt" but refused to relent on his view that Rafael Nadal "100 per cent" gets preferential treatment from officials.

Canadian Shapovalov fell short in a valiant comeback bid against all-time great Nadal, who eventually won through 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 after over four hours on Rod Laver Arena.

The 14th seed was left fuming between the first and set second, though, when he felt a time violation should have been given after Nadal made him wait for play to resume.

"Started the clock so long ago, he's still not ready to play. You've got to call him," Shapovalov said to Bernardes.

After Bernardes opted against doing so, Shapovalov said: "You guys are all corrupt."

"I think I misspoke when I said he's corrupt or whatever I said. It's definitely emotional, but I do stand by my side. I think it's unfair how much Rafa is getting away with," Shapovalov told a news conference when asked about the incident.

"I mean, I'm completely ready to play and the clock is ticking three, two, one, clicking towards zero, and I'm looking at the ump, and obviously I'm going to speak up and say something. 

"I've been ready to play for a minute and a half, and he tells me he's not going to give him a code violation because I'm not ready to play. To me, it's a big joke if somebody says that."

Shapovalov was further frustrated ahead of the deciding set where Nadal left the court for a medical check up having struggled with a stomach issue and also had a toilet break.

The 22-year-old felt the extended break quelled his growing momentum and that the elite players have different boundaries.

"And then after the fourth set, the guy goes – and for the same thing last year I wasn't allowed to take a toilet break when I asked for a medical," he added.

"He had already taken two medicals. He was getting medically evaluated, that's what the ump said after the fourth set, getting medically evaluated, and after the evaluation the guy goes and takes a toilet break.

"It's like, where is the line? Where are you going to step on the players and again, I respect everything that Rafa has done and I think he's an unbelievable player. 

"But there's got to be some boundaries, some rules set. It's just so frustrating as a player. You feel like you're not just playing against the player; you're playing against the umpires, you're playing against so much more.

"It's difficult. I mean, it was a big break after the fourth set for this reason, and the momentum just goes away. It's much more difficult to play, I think.

"Again, not trying to say anything against Rafa; he's a great player, I really respect all he's done, but I just think it's super difficult and super frustrating as an athlete to go up against all of this."

Asked if he feels Nadal gets preferential treatment, he added: "Of course. 100 per cent he does. 100 per cent. Every other match that I have played, the pace has been so quick because the refs have been on the clock after every single point.

"This one, after the first two sets it was like an hour and a half just because he's dragged out so much after every single point. He's given so much time in between sets and all this. It's just dragged out.

"Like I said, for the same reason I wasn't allowed to go to the washroom last year at the Australian Open because I had called a medical. I'm not arguing the fact that he had a medical or whatever it is. But how can you get evaluated medically and have a toilet break at the same break and just causing so much delay in the game?

"I mean, it's just not balanced."

Shapovalov and Nadal had a discussion at the net, but the former explained that it was an amicable exchange.

"It was nothing against Rafa. Rafa was serving and I would expect the umpire to be looking at Rafa and the umpire was staring me down. It didn't make sense to me," he said.

"Rafa is getting ready to serve, there's a clock right there, as an umpire you should be looking at the server. The guy is staring me down so I just looked at him like, 'Why are you looking at me?'

"It was shortly after I had said – obviously, like I said, I misspoke, but he was staring me down, so I felt like there was some feud or something. I looked at him.

"I was just explaining that to Rafa that it had nothing to do with him."

Nick Kyrgios is hoping to inspire the next generation of tennis stars after taking centre stage at the Australian Open with his run to the men's doubles semi-finals.

The 26-year-old fan favourite and partner Thanasi Kokkinakis downed sixth seeds Tim Puetz and Michael Venus 7-5 3-6 6-3 in Tuesday's quarter-final clash.

The contest was watched by a lively crowd on Kia Arena and overshadowed Rafael Nadal's five-set win over Denis Shapovalov on Rod Laver Arena at the same time.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, who were given a wildcard into the draw after being knocked out of the singles early on, will now face Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.

"I'm not finished – I want to win this f****** thing," Kyrgios declared in his on-court interview. "We know what we do well and it's world-class. 

"That's what we'll do again. I just want to play and give the people of Australia a show and genuinely grow the sport of tennis."

Kyrgios showed his caring side early in the match when handing a racket to a fan in the crowd after accidentally hitting the youngster with one of Kokkinakis' faulted balls.

The Australian public have embraced the pair's deep run in the competition and Kyrgios, often a controversial character, is glad to see so many younger spectators watching on.

"There is no way around it; me and Thanasi are definitely role models to the youth in Australia. We obviously attract that crowd," he said at his post-match news conference.

"I know that over the years I haven't been the best role model, but I was just learning how to deal with everything. 

"I think now at 26 I have matured, and I've definitely realised that a lot of young kids and people, even people that are low on confidence, they do look towards us.

"We are not special people. We're normal humans that you might see walking in Australia, and we are now in the semi-finals of a grand slam.

"I feel like I think we are just relatable. I think that's what's the best thing about it. They go out and get behind their mates. Most of the guys in the crowd are our mates.

"You've got Roger Federer and these guys that are just once-a-generation athletes. I can't be like that. We're not like that. I feel it has to be people that are a bit more relatable."

The Aussie pair's next opponents Granollers and Zeballos have won six tour-level titles as a team, but have never gone all the way at a grand slam.

Kokkinakis is hoping to have similar backing from the expectant home fans on Thursday.

Asked about the support he and his doubles partner have received so far, Kokkinakis said: "The rowdier the better. Sink p*** and come here.

"The next guys are experienced veterans, but we're going to keep playing how we play, have fun and enjoy the crowd."

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