NEW YORK. — Second seed Rafa Nadal underlined his title credentials with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 win over Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman on Wednesday to advance to the US Open semifinals for the eighth time.
Nadal, who has dropped only one set in the tournament so far, was tested in the contest by the Argentine who stormed back twice in the match to win four games in a row in the first and second sets.
“When he is under confidence he’s very difficult to stop,” Nadal said after being made to work hard in humid conditions.
“Of course, I made some mistakes, but I’m super happy the way I accepted the situation and I accepted the challenge.
“Here I am in the semifinals. It’s super important to me, it means everything.”
With both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic exiting earlier than anticipated, only Matteo Berrettini and either Daniil Medvedev or Grigor Dimitrov stand in the way of Nadal’s 19th Grand Slam title.
Berrettini had earlier beaten Frenchman Gael Monfils in a five-set thriller that lasted nearly four hours, as the big-serving Italian reached his first Grand Slam semifinal with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(5) victory.
The Italian, seeded 24th, served 15 aces and hit 53 winners, winning a grueling match despite making 64 unforced errors. Monfils made 51 unforced errors and served 17 double faults.