The closer Rafael Nadal gets to a potential long-awaited U.S. Open matchup with Roger Federer, the better he is playing. Federer notched a devastating break to move up 4-3 in the first after he fell behind 40-0 in the game.
The top-seeded Nadal wrapped up the rout in just over 90 minutes, then waited to see if he would finally face Federer in the only Grand Slam tournament where they have never met. "Feel like I would probably win it somehow", Federer said.
The 19-year-old, who grew up idolising Nadal and had the Spaniard's poster pinned up on his bedroom wall was smiling from ear-to-ear as he posed for pre-match photos with his hero.
Madison Keys, one of four Americans in the quarterfinals this year, plays Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi, who is back to her best after nearly two years off the courts because of an injury and a virus.
Federer did not face a break point and won in straight sets for the second time in a row after being pushed to five sets in each of the first two rounds.
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After beating Youzhny for the 17th time and Lopez for the 13th time, Federer took a 11-0 head-to-head record into his clash with Kohlschreiber.
Federer is a combined 44-0 against the first four men he's played, and he is 16-5 against del Potro. He will face Federer in the quarterfinals.
Del Potro saved two match points and erased a two-set deficit to come all the way back to beat No. 6-seeded Dominic Thiem 1-6, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4 and reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals.
"I think it's the best match that you can have - as a tennis fan, as a spectator", Moya said.
Del Potro long has been popular, but became even more so since returning from three operations on his left wrist that kept him out of Grand Slam action for two years and sent his ranking out of the top 100.
"If it's Roger Federer, of course I am excited to play that match, and of course it's special to play against him here in NY for the first time in our career", Nadal said.