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Five-setter king Anderson outlasts Shapovalov to last-16

05 September, 2018, 10:08 | Author: Lamar Ellis
  • Kevin Anderson of South Africa hits a return to Denis Shapovalov of Canada during their 2018 US Open men's round 3 match

World #1 Rafael Nadal will look to continue his US Open title-defence when he takes on ninth seed Dominic Thiem, who is competing in his first Grand Slam quarterfinal away from the clay and a fourth overall.

At one point it looked like Nadal with cruise to a straight sets victory over Basilashvili but the Georgian fought back with huge seal to force the top seed to show his best self to eke out a victory.

Austria's Thiem knocked out South African fifth seed Kevin Anderson - the man who lost in the final to Nadal at Flushing Meadows a year ago - in three sets earlier on Sunday.

While Nadal was below his brilliant best in a forgettable 6-3 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 win over the unseeded Basilashvili, Thiem produced arguably the performance of the day against Anderson.

"It's a big victory for me", said the 32-year-old Nadal, the champion in 2010, 2013 and 2017. "He was playing great, hitting the ball very, very strong", the Spaniard said.

"Besides being small, you have to understand the history of Georgia, where in the 1990s, it was very tough", Pachulia said.

"We fought the whole match and I survived with my serve which was key".

The semi-final will pit Nadal against third seed Juan Martin del Potro for the second successive Grand Slam.

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But for all their history, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem have never played on hard court, and they've never played in NY. I could go very far back like I do on clay usually.

Two days later Nadal, who played without any strapping on his right knee, needed another three hours 19 minutes to overcome Basilashvili. I'm really looking forward to play him on hard court for the first time. 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.

Thiem was broken serving for the set and then could not hold on for the tie-break, saving two set points but not a third after planting a volley wide with the whole of the court available.

Thiem will next play either world number one Rafael Nadal, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in another pre-quarterfinal. And also the court‚ I think‚ made a big difference. A couple of loose points gifted Kanepi a break in the first game of the second set, however, and she couldn't get back on terms.

John Isner, the top-seeded American man at No. 11, served 20 aces in outlasting Milos Raonic of Canada 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

"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.

Dominic fends off a couple of break points in game six to remain in front but he wasted a game point at 4-3 to lose serve after a big backhand error, letting Rafa level the score at 4-4.


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