US Open digest: champions Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens progress

Nadal advances to face Thiem in U.S. Open quarterfinals

Everything was on Thiem's racquet in the opening set, delivering only the fourth bagel in Nadal's Grand Slam career (Andy Roddick at the US Open 2004, Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2006 and Tomas Berdych at the Australian Open 2015) after winning 24 out of 31 points!

The world number one looked like he would cruise to an easy win after pocketing the first two sets but the Georgian stepped up his game to take the third.

Nadal came into this fourth-round match against Nikoloz Basilashvili with a point to prove, after 22-year-old Karen Khachanov had badgered and bullied him for long stretches of the previous round.

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.

"It's been a great battle", an exhausted Nadal said.

Nadal said: "Two matches in a row very tough ones".

But it was Nadal who set up a semi-final showdown Juan Martin del Potro, who beat John Isner earlier in the day, and he was apologetic after his win.

"I said to Dominic I am sorry".

Shapovalov held serve for the remainder of the match, coming back from four match points in one game to hold.

"Physically I'm stronger, wiser, I have a lot of experience on my side".

There's a good chance he will never play a better set in his life and it was inevitable there would be a slight dip, but Nadal was still nowhere near his best.

The disappointment of failing to create a first match point seemed to weigh on him in the tiebreak and he played it dreadfully, showing rare confusion in going 0-3 down and then losing it 7-4. Serving for the set at 5-3, Nadal got broken as well after a deep return from Thiem but he managed to clinch the set with another break in game 10, forcing an error from Dominic to level the overall score at 1-1.

"The court, I think, made a big difference".

But in a freaky twist in momentum, fans suddenly found themselves back on the edge of their seats as the Estonian opened the second with a break and broke Williams again to go up 5-2 before holding off a late rally from the 17th seed to level the match. "I hope to be ready to make that happen".

Thiem lost the 2018 French Open final against Nadal‚ and has a chance at redemption when the two meet on Tuesday. But I did today, so I just keep up my habits. The third-seeded Argentine will next face John Isner, the last American man standing, who defeated Milos Raonic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, taking his tournament aces total past the 100-mark.

"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 I'm really looking forward to it".

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