MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Highlights of the eighth day at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, on Monday (times AEDT; GMT+11):
Unseeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza continued her charge toward a third Grand Slam title and first since Wimbledon 2017 with a 6-3 6-3 fourth-round win over ninth seed Kiki Bertens.
Muguruza, who thumped Elina Svitolina in the last round, has now won back-to-back matches against top-10 opposition for the first time in three years.
Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, seeded 28th, rallied from a set down to beat Polish 18-year-old Iga Swiatek 6-7(4) 7-5 7-5 to secure her maiden quarter-final appearance at a Grand Slam.
Dominic Thiem’s mother began a tradition last year of getting a tattoo every time he captures a title and the world number five was asked about it after a fourth-round win over Gael Monfils.
“Unfortunately I have to confirm it,” Thiem, who won five titles last year, said in a courtside interview to leave the crowd in stitches. “I really would like to deny it, but no.”
Asked what she could get inked if he clinches the title by winning his next three matches in Melbourne, Thiem said: “For sure, a kangaroo.”
Austrian Dominic Thiem continued his dominance over Gael Monfils, outclassing the 10th-seeded Frenchman 6-2 6-4 6-4 to improve his head-to-head record to 6-0. The fifth seed faces Rafa Nadal or Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals.
Former world number one Rod Laver pledged to donate the proceeds of an auction of one of his favorite Dunlop 1969 raquets for Australian bushfire relief.
“I am deeply saddened by the fires that have ravaged this beautiful land. I still call Australia home,” the 11-times Grand Slam champion tweeted.
Fourth-seeded Simona Halep reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the 14th time in her career with a convincing 6-4 6-4 win over Elise Mertens. The 2018 runner-up won 74% of points on her first serve and made only eight unforced errors.
World number one Rafa Nadal was among several players who paid tribute to NBA great Kobe Bryant, who was killed at age 41 on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board.
“I woke up this morning with the horrible news of the tragic death of one of the greatest sportsman in the world... Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and other passengers. My condolences to his wife and families. I am in shock,” Nadal tweeted.
1100 HALEP ON COURT AS FANS AWAIT KYRGIOS-NADAL SHOWDOWN
Wimbledon champion Simona Halep is first up on Rod Laver Arena seeking to make her fourth quarter-final at Melbourne Park against Belgium’s Elise Mertens.
Double Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza ends the day session on the main showcourt before the blockbuster clash between local hope Nick Kyrgios and Rafa Nadal in the evening.
There should be no disruptions to play with no chance of rain and a mild high of 23 Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) expected.
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury and Shrivathsa Sridhar; Editing by Kim Coghill, Muralikumar Anantharaman, Peter Rutherford