NEW YORK, September 3: Defending champion Rafael Nadal on Sunday 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.
World number one Nadal saw off a battling Nikoloz Basilashvili, the first Georgian in a fourth round in New York, 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4.
“It’s a big victory for me,” said the 32-year-old Nadal, the champion in 2010, 2013 and 2017.
“He was hitting the ball very strong and when I thought I was in control of the points, he always came back with strong shots.”
It was world number 37 Basilashvili’s strength, however, which proved his undoing.
His 56 winners were erased by 59 unforced errors which in turn were three times as many committed by Nadal.
The Spanish star cruised into a two-set lead, seemingly fully recovered from the trauma of fighting back from a set and break down to Russia’s Karen Khachanov on Friday.
But Basilashvili stunned Nadal in the third set tiebreak and even retrieved a break for 3-3 in the fourth before Nadal’s greater composure paid off.
Next up for Nadal is Thiem who he defeated in the Roland Garros final in June when he captured an 11th French Open. (AFP)
Del Potro crushes Coric to make US Open quarters
Third seed Juan Martin del Potro crushed Croatia’s Borna Coric 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 at the US Open on Sunday to set up a quarter-final clash with American John Isner.
The Argentine sent down nine aces and 33 winners to seal a one-sided victory over the 20th seed in just over two hours, with Coric making 30 unforced errors to undermine his own cause. (Agencies)