MELBOURNE: Rafa Nadal routed Tomas Berdych 6-0 6-1 7-6(4) in a centre court masterclass to charge into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday. The 2009 champion was relentless at Rod Laver Arena, claiming the first two sets in an astonishing 51 minutes as the former world number four Czech suffered a dreadful start. Berdych rallied to grab a set point off Nadal in the final stanza but an untimely malfunction of the serve clock rattled him during the ensuing tiebreak and he bowed out slapping a backhand into the net. Bidding for an 18th Grand Slam title, second seed Nadal booked his 11th quarter-final at Melbourne Park and will meet unseeded American sensation Frances Tiafoe. Tiafoe, the son of Sierra Leone immigrants, celebrated his 21st birthday on Sunday by upsetting Grigor Dimitrov at Melbourne Arena. The match is certain to be billed as an intriguing clash of generations but Nadal has already shown disdain for hyped-up youth. He destroyed Alex de Minaur, the highly regarded 19-year-old local, in straight sets in the previous round. Published in Daily Times, January 21st 2019.