Rafael Nadal Eases into US Open Quarterfinals, Plays Teen Andrey Rublev Next
(September 4, 2017) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Rafael Nadal rolled into the US Open quarterfinals on Monday with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 win over No. 64 Alexandr Dolgopolov in Ashe Stadium.
This was the world No. 1’s 50th match win at the US Open. The two-time champion has reached the quarterfinals for the seventh time in Flushing Meadows, first time since 2013.
Nadal hit 23 winners and made only 11 errors. He won a total of 89 points to his opponent’s 60.
Nadal will face 19-year-old Russian Andrey Rublev who upset 9th seed David Goffin 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-3 in Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“I think I played a solid match, obviously,”Nadal said. “Not many mistakes. I don’t know how — I didn’t see the statistics, so I don’t know how many unforced errors I had, but my feeling is not many.
“So I feel that comparing to other days, I feel more calm on court. Is true that I was able to have the break earlier, but really I felt more comfortable from since the beginning, no?
“Most important thing is more times I had the control of the time of the point, you know. Not many balls surprise me. I didn’t hit a lot of balls earlier than what I thought or later than what I thought, something that happened in the first couple of days.
“And that’s very good news, no? Because when that happens is, of course, the previous round had been a step forward for me and today another one. So I’m playing a little bit better every day.
“Now I have a tough opponent, Rublev, next round, and I need to continue to play well.”
Rublev practiced with Nadal in Monte-Carlo a few years ago.
“Of course he’s young, and when you are young you feel that everything is new,”” said the 15-time major champion. “But he already won a lot of matches on the tour. He’s not a kid that he came now in this event. Of course not. He’s on the tour for a while. He’s playing well. He’s a solid player on the tour.”
Rublev in his on court interview with ESPN, talked about playing his idol Rafael Nadal: “He’s the real champion. I’m just going to enjoy it. It’s the quarterfinals and I have nothing to lose.”
The Russian teen will be bidding to become the youngest semifinalist since Nadal in 2005 and Lleyton Hewitt in 2000.
He came into the US Open ranked No. 53, as of now he’ll move up into the 40s. Not only did he beat No. 9 Goffin on Monday, but he defeated No. 7 seed Grigor Dimitrov earlier in the tournament.
He won the French Open junior title in 2014.
“It was a tough match,” Goffin said in a losing effort. “He was playing really fast. It was tough for me to move 100%. I couldn’t move 100% today, so it was not — it was tough for me, because he was playing really fast, left and right. He was really aggressive, so it was tough. It was almost impossible to win today.”
Goffin has been sidelined earlier in the year with an ankle injury which sidelined him after the French Open.
“He takes the ball early also in forehand,” Goffin said about Rublev.
“He’s really aggressive, so he’s a great player, he has good potential. He can improve in every part of his game. But he’s only 19 and he’s playing really well.”
Rublev was asked about his thoughts about playing his idol Nadal: “Nothing. I’m just going to try to enjoy, and that’s it. This is going to be good challenge for me to see how far I am from top players, and how much more I need to work.”
“He have amazing legs. He have amazing defense. And me, I have a good shots. I can play really fast, in fast rhythm. I think this is my main game.”
“I think he’s so professional. He try to do everything perfect. That’s why he’s No. 1, one of the best guys in all the history.”