Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal beat Marin Cilic after a four-set-long battle to enter the quarterfinals in the US Open.
Nadal, 33, has outclassed Croatian Cilic in a rather long encounter 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-2 to register victory in New York. Cilic, 30, tried to come back to the game with a second set win but later succumbed before the power of Nadal.
Nadal, the 18-time Grand Slam champion, will play Argentine 20th seed Diego Schwartzman in the last eight. "For some moments in the second set I felt there were too many points in his hands, he was pushing me back, more aggression than me and he hit every ball very strong," said Nadal. "After that second set I thought something needs to change or I would be in his hands. I started to return the second serve inside the court and that created a different perspective."
After 2018 champion Novak Djokovic retired injured from his last-16 match against Stan Wawrinka on Sunday, Nadal is considered the joint favourite for the men's title alongside Swiss great Roger Federer.
Nadal is aiming to close the gap to 20-time major winner Federer with his fourth title at Flushing Meadows.