But in a weird twist in momentum, fans suddenly found themselves back on the edge of their seats as the Estonian opened the second with a break and broke Williams again to go up 5-2 before holding off a late rally from the 17th seed to level the match.
The young Austrian used savvy court positioning and one of the best performances of his life to earn a 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (2) rout Sunday and his first trip to the U.S. Open quarterfinals.
After battling for almost four and a half hours to beat Karen Khachanov on Friday, Nadal was again pushed beyond the three-hour mark before defeating his Georgian opponent 6-3 6-3 6-7 (6/8) 6-4.
"I'm really happy I was able to compete out there with him", the 19-year-old said.
Tim first came in the quarter-finals of the US Open and has consolidated its position in the struggle for a place in the Final tournament.
But a lengthy hold for 1-1 in the third offered Basilashvili some encouragement just as Nadal started to find the corners of the court and he seized his first break in the following game, powering returns past the top seed.
China Promises Africa Debt Relief as Xi Counters Aid Criticism
Xi said the financing would be in the form of government help as well as investment and funding by institutions and companies. He echoed Ramaphosa's call for "win-win cooperation" and said China rejected protections and unilateralism.
Thiem opened his tournament in NY by thrashing Sofia champion Mirza Basic 6-3 6-1 6-4.
He said: "Two matches in a row very tough ones". I'm really looking forward to play him on hard court for the first time. "I could go very far back like I do on clay, usually", Thiem said.
I'm only in my third one back.
Ninth seed Dominic Thiem stepped up his bid for a first Grand Slam title on Sunday, toppling last year's runner-up Kevin Anderson 7-5 6-2 7-6 (2) to reach the U.S. Open quarter-finals for the first time.
The fifth-seeded Anderson lost the crowd to the popular Shapovalov - who exhorted the fans to raise the roof under the sealed conditions - but moved on to play Dominic Thiem on Sunday. I have very powerful ground strokes, and I can even hurt him with them. "You guys were on my side so it was great". For a player of his quality, that record is simply not good enough. That was part of what's now a 26-1 run since Thiem beat him in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open in May. "I just hope to keep my level high against John in the next match".
The roof closed on the newly built Louis Armstrong Stadium for the first time during the second set, but it did not appear to disrupt the momentum of either player.
Isner came through a five-setter with Milos Raonic, who was hampered by a "sharp feeling" in his hip during the closing stages of the match.