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Denis Shapovalov of Canada celebrates his win over Alexander Zverev of Germany in their fourth-round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne on Jan. 23, 2022.Tertius Pickard/The Associated Press

As the 2022 Australian Open began, Denis Shapovalov talked about wanting to bring the “Rafa mentality” to the court.

Now that he’s reached the quarter-finals Down Under for the first time in his career after a 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 dismantling of world No. 3 Alexander Zverev in the round of 16 on Sunday, he will get to test out that new mantra against the man who created it.

The 22-year-old Canadian will face 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal on Tuesday, with a spot in the semi-finals on the line.

“It’s just fighting for every point, kind of just staying in it, not letting things bother you,” Shapovalov said of the mindset he hoped he and his team could bring to the court in 2022.

If the match against Zverev was any indication, it’s already mission accomplished.

Shapovalov is the third Canadian to reach the final eight in Melbourne. He joins Milos Raonic (who has gone at least that far on five occasions) and Mike Belkin, who reached the quarter-finals in 1968 – the first year of tennis’s open era.

Félix Auger-Aliassime will attempt to join that group Monday (late Sunday night Eastern Time) when the No. 9 seed takes on No. 27 seed Marin Cilic in his own round-of-16 match. The 21-year-old Canadian, the No. 9 seed, swiftly dispatched No. 24 seed Dan Evans 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 on Saturday.

This is the fourth time in his past five Grand Slam appearances that Auger-Aliassime has reached the second week. That includes a semi-final effort at the U.S. Open last September, and a Wimbledon quarter-final last July.

“I’m definitely expecting a long battle out there. He makes you play a lot. His defence is very good. He’s very good at what he does, you know?” Shapovalov said of Nadal. “I’m going to have to try to play my game, take it to him and keep doing what I have been doing: playing patient, fighting for every point and picking my spots to play aggressively.”

Shapovalov went 22-for-27 at the net on Sunday. That’s an area where he has made steady improvement in the past two years, and where he hopes new coach Jamie Delgado, a fine volleyer in his day, will make even more of an impact.

The arrival of Andy Murray’s former long-time coach, and Shapovalov’s first breakthrough effort Down Under, are happening concurrently.

After just a few weeks, though, it’s far too soon to assess Delgado’s impact.

However, adding the 44-year-old Brit, after parting ways with Russian former top-10 player Mikhail Youzhny at the end of last season, was 100 per cent Shapovalov’s decision.

Meanwhile, Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty advanced to the quarter-finals for the fourth straight year when she beat 20-year-old American Amanda Anisimova 6-4, 6-3.

She’ll next play No. 21-seeded Jessica Pegula, who beat fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari 7-6 (0), 6-3.

French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova breezed to a 6-2, 6-2 win over two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and is into the last eight for the third time in four Grand Slam events.

Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini completed a Grand Slam set with a 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-4 win over 19th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta in the last match on Day 7.

The seventh-seeded Berrettini has now reached the quarter-finals at all four of the tennis majors and will next play No. 17 Gaël Monfils, who beat Miomir Kecmanovic 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-3. The 35-year-old Monfils made it to the last eight for the second time in 17 trips to Melbourne Park.

Nadal, in his 17th campaign in Australia, is now tied with John Newcombe in second spot on the all-time list for most Australian Open quarter-finals, one behind Roger Federer’s 15.