MELBOURNE, Australia — Rafael Nadal's right knee was taped. Ditto for his left ankle. His strokes looked just fine.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Rafael Nadal's right knee was taped. Ditto for his left ankle. His strokes looked just fine.

Nadal cruised past countryman Feliciano Lopez today,winning 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

Nadal, who hurt his knee while sitting in a chair the day before the tournament began, is one win away from a possible semifinal against old rival Roger Federer after beating his fellow Spaniard for the ninth time in 11 matches.

On a sunny day with the temperature rising to 89 degrees, both players sat with ice towels around their necks during the changeovers.

Nadal needed treatment from the trainer for a left ankle problem after three games of the first set. By that time, he had already broken serve.

Federer was up against 19-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic in the first match of the night session later today. The 16-time Grand Slam champion hasn't lost to a teenager since 2006 against Andy Murray at the Cincinnati Masters.

Also today, defending champion Kim Clijsters was to face Li Na in a repeat of the 2011 final. Clijsters beat Li 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win her fourth major title a year ago.

Victoria Azarenka was the first player to reach the quarterfinals when she beat Iveta Benesova 6-2, 6-2.

The third-seeded Belarusian is yet to drop a set at the tournament and will next meet eighth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Julia Goerges of Germany 6-1, 6-1.

With the win, 22-year-old Azarenka stayed in the hunt for the No. 1 ranking. Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova can also claim the top spot from Caroline Wozniacki.

Azarenka, like Wozniacki, is aiming for her first Grand Slam title. She has never gone past the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, but is 6-3 against Radwanska. The last of those victories came at the Sydney International, which Azarenka won before coming to Melbourne.

Serena Williams routed Greta Arn 6-1, 6-1 on Saturday for her 17th straight win at the Australian Open.