Nadal sees off Basilashvili to reach U.S. Open quarters
Nadal sees off Basilashvili to reach U.S. Open quarters
Kevin Anderson outlasts Denis Shapovalov to reach US Open fourth round
05 September, 2018, 10:12
DEFENDING champion Rafael Nadal has reached the US Open quarter-finals for the eighth time where he will face Dominic Thiem, one of only three men to defeat him in 2018.
It was the fourth win for Nadal in four Grand Slam matches against Thiem, the most recent coming in May's French Open Final.
John Isner ground out yet another five-set win at the U.S. Open beating Milos Raonic 3-6 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-2 to advance to the quarter-finals of his home Grand Slam for the second time.
This one was never easy: Nadal trailed by a break in the third set before taking it. The fourth was a wild 81-minute ride that began with Thiem facing break points, saw the Austrian threaten a double break before being pegged back and then a tired Nadal miss a chance to win the match.
Nadal beat Anderson previous year for his third U.S. Open title. Anderson needed just under four hours to beat the Canadian, a taxing affair both mentally and physically, which despite his now renowned fitness levels was always going to have some kind of "carry over" against a player like Thiem, who is one of the better defensive players in the world. "You guys were on my side so it was great". It has included brief two-set bouts and rugged three-setters, with seven wins for the so-called "King of Clay", and an admirable, tantalizing three victories for his presumed successor.
Basilashvili's approach was all or nothing against the world number one, although unforced errors outstripped winners in the opening two sets before he began to find his range in the third.
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The ninth-seeded Austrian s three other appearances in the last-eight of a Slam have all been on the clay of Roland Garros in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Thiem was sublime on his own serve and never faced a break point in the match. "A bunch of times I thought I hit pretty decent returns but he really punishes anything he has time on‚ and even sometimes when he doesn't have time".
"But I'm really looking forward to play him on a hard court for the first time".
"I said to Dominic I am sorry".
"It was a battle out there, I gave it everything I have so there's nothing to regret from it", Shapovalov told reporters after the match.
"The crowd just kept me in it, " Isner said.
Nadal was more generous in describing his matches against Thiem, the first of which came back in 2014.
Not only was Nadal two points from losing at 5-all in the closing tiebreaker, but he finished with fewer total points, 171-166.
"To reach the semi-final again here in NY in my favourite tournament is very special to me", said Del Potro after his eighth win over Isner in 12 meetings. But this generally isn't his best season - the best time to watch the young Austrian is on red clay in spring.
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