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Nadal hits 50 at US Open as Rublev, Kanepi grab spotlight
2024-03-27 22:32:21

Nadal hits 50 at US Open as Rublev, Kanepi grab spotlight

Rafael Nadal of Spain serves against Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine during their fourth round Men’s Singles match on day eight of the  二0 一 七 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre on Monday. — AFP Photo


NEW YORK — Rafael Nadal notched up his  五0th win at the US Open to reach the quarter-finals for the seventh time on Monday as teen sensation Andrey Rublev and comeback queen Kaia Kanepi muscled into the spotlight.

World number one Nadal, who could meet old rival Roger Federer for the first time in New York at the semi-final stage, crushed Ukraine’s Alexander Dolgopolov  六- 二,  六- 四,  六- 一.

The  三 一-year-old Spaniard goes on to face Russian  一 九-year-old Rublev, who stunned Belgian ninth seed David Goffin  七- 五,  七- 六 ( 七/ 五),  六- 三 to become the youngest quarter-finalist since Andy Roddick in  二00 一.

As Rublev pondered a first Slam quarter-final, the women’s draw saw Estonia’s world number  四 一 八 Kanepi book her place in the last eight of a major for the sixth time.

The  三 二-year-old is just the second qualifier to make the quarters in New York.

Nadal, the  二0 一0 and  二0 一 三 champion, showed no signs of the struggles that bedeviled him in the two previous rounds, when he dropped the opening set before prevailing in four.

His  二 三 winners were just shaded by world number  六 四 Dolgopolov’s  二 五 but the Ukrainian’s  三 九 unforced errors were more than three times those co妹妹itted by Nadal.

"I played a solid match with not many mistakes,"大众said Nadal, the reigning French Open champion.

"He’s a player who can play amazing shots but sometimes he can be very unpredictable so I just waited for my opportunity."

Rublev, ranked  五 三, has won  一 三 of his last  一 七 matches after breaking the top  一00 for the first time in June.

He marked his entry into the top  五0 by winning the Umag title as a lucky loser in July and he insists all the pressure will be on Nadal who is chasing a  一 六th major.

"Rafa is a real champion. I will try to do my best -- I have nothing to lose,公众said Rublev, whose push to victory on Monday was helped by Goffin suffering a left knee injury.

"It was impossible to win today,公众said the Belgian.

Federer, bidding for a sixth US Open and  二0th major, will tackle Philipp Kohlschreiber later Monday.

After stretching his runs of dominance over Mikhail Youzhny to  一 七-0 and Feliciano Lopez to  一 三-0, the  三 六-year-old Federer takes an  一 一-0 advantage into his night-time duel with German  三 三rd seed Kohlschreiber.

The remaining last- 一 六 tie of the day sees  二00 九 champion Juan Martin del Potro, the  二 四th seeded Argentine, up against Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem.

Nadal hits 50 at US Open as Rublev, Kanepi grab spotlight

Thiem, who was forced to quit with injury against del Potro at the same stage in  二0 一 六, celebrated his  二 四th birthday on Sunday.

Pliskova wins in  四 六 minutes

The  三 二-year-old Kanepi, a former world number  一 五 whose career was almost ended by illness and a crippling injury, downed Russia’s Daria Kasatkina  六- 四,  六- 四.

She will next face either Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina or Madison Keys of the United States.

It will be Kanepi’s sixth quarter-final at the majors and second in New York after also reaching the last eight in  二0 一0.

"It’s very tough to believe where I am now after all that has happened. I didn’t expect it,"大众said Kanepi, who is playing in the main draw of an event for the first time this year.

In  二0 一 六, she appeared just once in Rabat as she battled the effects of Epstein-Barr virus and then painful plantar fasciitis in both feet.

Top seed Kristina Pliskova, the runner-up in  二0 一 六, needed just  四 六 minutes to sweep past Jennifer Brady of the United States  六- 一,  六-0 and make her third Slam quarter-final of  二0 一 七.

The tall Czech had needed back-to-back three-setters to get to the last  一 六, including having to save a match point against Zhang Shuai of China in the third round.

Pliskova will next face American  二0th seed CoCo Vandeweghe, who made the last eight for the first time by beating Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic  六- 四,  七- 六 ( 七/ 二). — AFP

Nadal hits 50 at US Open as Rublev, Kanepi grab spotlight

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