World Number One,Rafael Nadal was too strong for teenager Andrey Rublev crushing him in three sets to qualify for the semi-final and await the winner of the match between Roger Federer and Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.
Nadal was simply ruthless in the match Wednesday at Flushing Meadows in New York, thrashing the Russian 6-1 6-2 6-2, and making the teenager sweat for every point in the match that lasted just over 90 minutes.
It was the first time the Russian, ranked 49 in the world would go far in the US Open. In 2015, he was knocked out in Round One. In subsequent tour experience, he had knocked out top ranked players such as Fernando Verdasco, Grigor Dimitrov, and David Goffin. He even won the doubles title at the 2015 Kremlin Cup in Moscow with Dmitry Tursunov, and the singles title at the 2017 Croatia Open in Umag.
But Nadal was different, more a difficult nut to crack.
“It was a good match,” said Nadal in his on-court interview with ESPN.
“Andrey was playing in his first quarter-final and he played with more mistakes than usual. It’s an important victory for me, winning past two matches in straight sets is very good news for me. I’m very, very happy to be in the semi-finals again in New York. It’s very important to me and I’m very excited to have this opportunity again.”
The semi-final tie will be Nadal’s 26th Grand Slam semi-final.
Should he play Federer, the No. 1 ranking would be on the line.
Nadal has a 3-2 record in US Open semi-final appearances, going on to make the final against Novak Djokovic three times, beating the Serbian in 2010 and 2013 and finishing runner-up in 2011.
The Mallorcan is looking to win his second Grand Slam championship of the season, after capturing La Decima at Roland Garros (d. Wawrinka).
*With reports by ATPWorldTour.com