MELBOURNE - Nick Kyrgios chased every ball, hit a dazzling drop shot at break point, smashed his racket and tossed it to a spectator, smiled at his rival's athleticism, collected 25 aces, played with unflinching bravery and lectured the umpire. He was electric and yet Rafael Nadal was unbeatable. The younger man, 24, reached a wondrously high level, but the older one, 33, lives there every day.
Nadal won 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4) and is in his 41st Grand Slam quarter-final. It took three hours and 38 sweaty minutes, lasted 271 points, but the Spaniard did what he so often does. He earned victory.