Rafael Nadal let Diego Schwartzman hang around late on Wednesday night at the US Open.
His win, though, wasn’t ever truly in question.
Nadal beat Schwartzman in straight sets 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in their quarterfinals match at Arthur Ashe Stadium, advancing to his eighth US Open semifinals.
“Straight sets, but a big challenge, especially after the first two sets … I had some mistakes of course to lose two breaks in a row, but anyway, I’m super happy the way I accepted the situation,” Nadal said on ESPN after the match. “I accepted the challenge and just kept going point by point. And here I am in the semifinals. That’s super important to me. That means everything.”
Nadal jumped out to a hot start, picking up an instant 4-0 lead in the first set. Schwartzman, though, rallied back almost instantly. The Argentine quickly turned the tables, winning 16-of-19 points to tie the set back up 4-4. Despite the lapse, Nadal then powered on to take the first set 6-4.
Clearly, that slip in the first set worked. Nadal cruised to a quick 5-1 lead in the second set, totally dominating Schwartzman just like he did early on in the match.
At least he was, until Schwartzman came up with an insane save in a rally he definitely should have lost multiple times.
That save sent him on yet another rally, though he again came up short. Nadal held on to grab the 7-5 win.
After splitting the first two games in the third set, Nadal kicked it into gear. The Spaniard pushed through to quickly grab the 6-2 win and end the match.
"I saw him play," Nadal said, via Forbes. "He's hitting huge. Big, big serves, big forehands, moving well and super confident. He's a player that is making big steps forward every week so it's going to be a big challenge but this match gives me some confidence, no?
"Now is the moment to keep going. Tomorrow is a day off, practice a little bit, I hope to be 100 percent for that semifinal because I will need."
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