New York, Sep 3: Three-time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain battled past Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open.
"It's so special to see this amazing crowd supporting me. As I said before the tournament started, I've always had a great connection with the crowd here in New York. They are very energetic, very passionate," Nadal said after the match on Monday.
"I really enjoyed a lot playing in front of the full crowd. Arthur Ashe Stadium here in New York, night session, it's difficult to be better", he added.
Nadal looked impatient and lackluster in the second set, but he adjusted well and produced some electrifying moments of brilliance in the third and fourth sets.
"For some moments in the second set I felt there were too many points in his hands," Nadal said. "He was pushing me back and playing more aggressive than me. I was way back on the return and he was with the right determination to go inside the court."
''After the second set I had to make a change or I would be in his hands," Nadal said. "I started to return the second serve inside the court and that gave me a different perspective in points." Nadal will next face Argentine Diego Schwartzman, against whom he has won all seven meetings.
"Diego is playing unbelievable," the Spaniard said. "I need to play my best in the next round to have a chance to be in the semifinals. But the match of today I think helps." Schwartzman upset sixth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 in another fourth round match. It's his second US Open quarterfinal in three years.
"I had many chances in the first set. So after losing the first set, I was thinking about how to take the chances to be leading in the score in the second set quickly," Schwartzman said. "The second set was important. After that, I think I started to change a little bit my game and I started to think, 'Okay, now this is how I need to play.'"
Elsewhere, Gael Monfils of France swept past Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 while Italian player Matteo Berrettini defeated Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(6). Monfils and Berrettini will vie for a spot in the semifinals. (UNI-XINHUA)