Rafael Nadal continues Australian Open march

Rafael Nadal remained on course for the "Rafa Slam" after moving into the last eight with a convincing win over Marin Cilic.

The Spaniard, who is bidding to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand slams simultaneously, set up a quarter-final against countryman David Ferrer after seeing off the big-serving Croatian 6-2 6-4 6-3.



Nadal looked out-of-sorts despite beating Bernard Tomic on Saturday night but cut a far more composed figure this evening as he offered Cilic few opportunities to cause a shock.



The world number one set the tone by breaking Cilic in the opening game and another break in game five saw him race into a 4-1 lead.



He duly served it out and, while Cilic had his moments in the second set, there was a sense of inevitability when Nadal broke for a 4-3 lead before going on to clinch the set.



The third followed a similar pattern with the top seed breaking again in game seven and he closed it out when Cilic served a double fault on Nadal's third match point.



"Before the match I was a little bit nervous because he is very dangerous and I tried to play with high intensity," he said.



"I am very happy because I played my best match of the year at the Australian Open."



Nadal has been suffering from a virus in recent weeks but he claimed he was over the worst, adding: "I am not sweating that much tonight, in previous days I was sweating like crazy and I was feeling very tired.



"Today was the first time that I felt perfect physically."



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