Ashleigh Barty saw her Australian Open hopes end in the quarter-finals ©Getty Images

World number one Ashleigh Barty and Spanish star Rafael Nadal saw their Australian Open hopes dashed on a dramatic day of quarter-finals in Melbourne.

Barty looked on course to secure a place in the women’s singles semi-finals as the home favourite comfortably took the first set 6-1 against the Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova.

An early break of serve in the second set put Barty in pole position to advance in her first Grand Slam in a year, following her decision not to travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

Muchova received a medical time-out after complaining of dizziness on the court.

The Czech player returned and dominated the remainder of the set, winning five of the final six games to take the match into a decider.

The momentum remained with Muchova in the finals set as she broke twice to ultimately seal a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Muchova will now face Jennifer Brady in the semi-finals after she staged a comeback of her own to beat fellow American Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Comebacks continued in the men’s event as Nadal’s bid to secure a record 21st men’s Grand Slam singles title was ended by Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Stefanos Tsitsipas came from two sets down to beat Rafael Nadal ©Getty Images
Stefanos Tsitsipas came from two sets down to beat Rafael Nadal ©Getty Images

Nadal dominated the early stages of the contest and forced Tsitsipas into a series of errors.

The Spaniard took the opening sets 6-3, 6-2 to take charge of the match, but he was unable to seal victory in a third set tie-break as Tsitsipas gained a foothold in the contest.

Tsitsipas, the tournament fifth seed, then broke Nadal to lead 5-4 in the fourth set and held serve to force a decider.

A tightly contested final set remained with serve in the opening games, before a series of Nadal errors gave Tsitsipas three break points.

Tsitsipas secured the break and successfully served out the match, converting the second of his match points to earn a 3-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory.

His reward will be a meeting with Daniil Medvedev, who eased to victory in an all-Russian quarter-final against Andrey Rublev.

Medvedev triumphed 7-5, 6-3, 6-2.