US Open: Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams reach quarterfinals | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 03.09.2018
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US Open: Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams reach quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal cruised through the US Open round of 16 on his quest to reach a second consecutive final. Serena Williams survived a strong challenge, keeping alive her hopes of winning the last Grand Slam of the season.

The No.1-ranked Nadal battled past Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 on Sunday to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open for an eighth consecutive year.

"It's a big victory for me," said the 32-year-old Spaniard."He was hitting the ball very strong and when I thought I was in control of the points, he always came back with strong shots."

However, 59 unforced errors doomed the 37th-seeded Basilashvili to defeat.

Nadal is to face Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals. Nadal has a 7-3 record against the Austrian, with all of their previous  matches having been played on clay. "Thiem is a great opponent, he has the big serve," Nadal said.

Thiem was the first Austrian to reach the round of 16 at the US Open since Thomas Muster in 1996. "Against Rafa, I've had three very nice experiences and seven horrible experiences," Thiem said.

"On clay, it's one of the biggest challenges in sports to beat this guy. I hope that it's a little bit more comfortable on the hard court, but I'm not sure," he admitted.

Federer and Djokovic in the hunt for quarterfinals

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are set to play their round of 16 matches on Monday. Each will face unseeded opponents. Federer will face off against 55th-ranked Australian John Millman while Djokovic will play against 68th-ranked Brazilian Joao Sousa.

Reaching a quarterfinal would be a first for either Millman or Sousa, but to do so they would have to upset the No.  2 and No. 6 seeds, respectively. If Federer and Djokovic advance, they will face each other.

Serena Williams advances

Six-time US Open champion Serena Williams needed three sets to beat unseeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi  6-0,
4-6, 6-3 and reach the quarterfinals. Williams will now face Czech player Karolina Pliskova, who defeated Williams in the semifinals in New York in 2016.

"It wasn't an easy match at all," Williams said about the Kanepi match. "Winning a big game and a very important game and a really tight game, I think it was just a relief," she conceded.

Read more: US Open officials apologize after sexist shirt removal row

Last German standing

Of the 16 German players to enter this year's US Open, only Phillipp Kohlschreiber remains. The No. 34-ranked player, will face in the 19th-ranked Kei Nishikori of Japan for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Nishikori has won both of the previous meetings with Kohlschreiber and has yet to drop a set against the German.

To get there, Kohlschreiber prevailed over fellow German and the world's No. 4 men's player, Alexander Zverev 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-1, 6-3. Still just 21 and regarded as one of the brightest young stars of men's tennis, Zverev showed again on Saturday that he is not yet the finished article. He has only made one Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance so far, at this year's French Open. 

jcg/pfd (dpa, AFP, AP)

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