The man who stunned Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open saw his challenge ended on Monday, as Grigor Dimitrov got the better of Denis Istomin in the fourth round.
Istomin dumped defending champion Djokovic out in round two and maintained his run with a five-set victory over Pablo Carreno Busta.
However, the Uzbek wildcard’s campaign finally ran out of steam as he lost 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 6-1 to 15th seed Dimitrov.
Dimitrov will now meet David Goffin for a place in the semi-finals, in a quarter of the draw that really opened up following Djokovic’s shock elimination.
Rafael Nadal followed up his laboured victory over Alexander Zverev with a four-set triumph over sixth seed Gael Monfils.
Milos Raonic awaits the Spaniard in the quarter-finals following his victory over Roberto Bautista Agut, also in four sets.
Dimitrov’s record for 2017 stands at 9-0 following his victory over world number 117 Istomin.
The Brisbane International champion, who has never lost to a player ranked outside the top 100 at a grand slam, fired 37 winners as Istomin struggled with a back problem.
The 30-year-old received treatment for the issue on several occasions and looked fatigued after an eventful week in Melbourne.
Dimitrov’s quarter-final opponent, David Goffin, came from behind to beat Dominic Thiem 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2.
“I will be focused on the match, not on the consequences if I win or lose,” said Goffin. “Dimitrov has won everything. He started the year really well and was really solid this week.”
RAFA-RAONIC IS PICK OF THE QUARTERS
With the prospect of a last-eight encounter between Roger Federer and world number one Andy Murray dashed when Mischa Zverev pulled off an upset against the latter on Sunday, Rafael Nadal’s clash with Milos Raonic is the tastiest tie of the quarter-finals.
Nadal had won 12 of his previous 14 meetings with Monfils and looked set to sail into the next round when he won the opening two sets by a 6-3 margin.
Monfils rallied to take the third set 6-4 against the 2009 champion but Nadal wrapped up the win when he claimed the fourth by the same scoreline, sealing his first grand slam victory over a top-10 player since beating Djokovic in the 2014 French Open final.
Raonic will be his opponent in the quarters after the Canadian third seed battled to a 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-4 6-1 win against Bautista Agut.
TSONGA TAKES ‘FLIGHT’
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga faces Stan Wawrinka in his quarter-final on Tuesday, but used his day off to take a flight over Melbourne on his racket. Or at least that’s what he claimed.
— Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (@tsonga7) January 23, 2017