Three-time champion Rafael Nadal defeated Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in the men’s singles quarterfinals of the US Open on Wednesday and will take on Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the semifinals.
The No.20 seed Schwartzman put up firm resistance against Nadal and twice fought back from double-break deficits in the first two sets, but the Spaniard found another gear at crucial moments to secure the victory after two hours and 47 minutes’ battle.
“Straight sets but big challenges especially after the first two sets, having 4-0 and 5-1 and losing both breaks in a row, but I know how good he is when he’s confident,” Nadal said.
“I’m so happy how I accepted the situation and challenge and kept going, point after point. Here I am in the semifinals. I’m super happy, it means everything.”
In the semifinals, the Spaniard faces Berrettini, who beat Frenchman Gael Monfils 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(5) over three hours and 56 minutes in another quarterfinal. “He’s one of the best players of the world. When he’s playing well, he’s able to win against everybody,” Nadal said. “Tonight was for me [a] tough match. I’m very happy for the victory.”
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However, when it mattered most, Nadal maintained the more consistent level, advancing to his eighth semi-final in New York. The Spaniard has long been dominant in major quarter-finals, improving to 33-7 at this stage of Slams with five of those losses coming at the Australian Open. This is Nadal’s 11th tournament in 2019, and he has reached at least the last four in 10 of them.
“Diego is playing unbelievable. I need to play my best in the next round to have the chance to be in the semi-finals,” Nadal said after his fourth-round victory. That prediction proved to be spot on.
Nadal crushed 35 winners and broke serve eight times to find a way to win against an opponent who refused to back down. Many times, Nadal’s unrelenting groundstrokes typically push players further behind the baseline as a match wears on. But Schwartzman tried to go blow-for-blow with the second seed, playing aggressively whenever possible.
His effort was not enough, though, as Nadal earned a semi-final showdown against Matteo Berrettini, who had never made a Slam quarter-final before this tournament. The Italian outlasted Frenchman Gael Monfils in an epic five-setter earlier in the day. It will be the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.
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