MELBOURNE, Australia — Madison Keys continued her strong run through the Australian Open draw, returning to the quarterfinals here for the first time in three years with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Caroline Garcia on Monday.
The U.S. Open finalist has yet to drop a set at Melbourne Park and has averaged a brisk 62.5 minutes on court through her first four rounds.
Coming into the match against Garcia, she had only dropped 14 games — the second fewest among the women through three rounds, just behind Angelique Kerber’s 13 games.
Keys could meet Kerber in the quarterfinals if the 21st-seeded German beats Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan.
Keys, seeded just 17th after undergoing wrist surgery and missing several months on tour last year, is playing pain-free again and looking increasingly confident as the tournament goes on.
Keys, the only American woman to reach the fourth round, said she feels like she’s playing without pressure since returning from her wrist injury.
‘‘I definitely realize how much l love it and how much pressure I put on myself [in the past],’’ she said. ‘‘Just being really happy to be back out here and not at home in a cast.’’
She’s reached her fourth Grand Slam quarterfinal and her first at the Australian Open since her breakout run to the semifinals in 2015 as a 19 year old.
Keys lost her serve in the opening game of the match against the eighth-seeded Garcia, but broke the Frenchwoman five times as she raced through the next two sets.
In the men’s draw on Sunday, Rafael Nadal survived a fitness test with his four-set win over Argentinian Diego Schwartzman — 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-3 — that lasted 3 hours 51 minutes.
Nadal, with his spot in a 10th Australian Open quarterfinal secure, draped an arm around his Argentine friend Schwartzman, and patted him on top of the head after they met at the net.
‘‘A great battle . . . he’s a good friend of mine,’’ Nadal said. ‘‘This is the first big match that I played in 2018. That’s confidence for myself . . . confidence I can resist for four hours on court at a good intensity.’’
No. 3-ranked Grigor Dimitrov did it tough, too, before advancing to the quarterfinals at the expense of the last Aussie in the draw. Dimitrov avenged a loss two weeks ago to Nick Kyrgios with a 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (7-4) win over Nick Kyrgios.
Nadal didn’t play a competitive match before the season-opening major, and advanced through three rounds without dropping a set.
That streak finished when Schwartzman took the second set, rebounding three times after dropping serve to break back against Nadal and level the match.
Nadal lifted to win the third, but Schwatzman didn’t relent.