Kolkata: Tennis legends Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer progressed to the quarter-finals of the US Open in New York on Monday, inching closer to what could be a possible semi-final clash between the two at the Flushing Meadows.
Nadal who looks to be returning to his best with every game, easily defeated the Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 to proceed to the next stage.
“Every victory, every set that you win, is more confidence. That what’s I am doing,” said Nadal on his dominant performance in the tournament so far, as he moved just one victory away from facing his longtime rival for the very first time in the US Open.
The world number one who last won the title in 2013, before struggling with injuries and facing early exits, definitely looks to be the favourite to win the tournament. He will face 19-year old Andrey Rublev, the youngest quarterfinalist, in his next match.
Swiss superstar Roger Federer, also progressed to the quarter-finals defeating the 33rd seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 7-5. The Australian Open champion is making his 12th appearance in the quarter-finals of the US Open and is just behind Andre Agassi (13) and Jimmy Connor (17), according to a report in ESPN.
Federer who is world number three did not have a dominant start to the tournament after having to play five sets in the first two rounds. He won in straight sets for the second time in a row and will face comeback man Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in the quarters.
Returning from a career threatening injury Del Potro defeated 6th seeded Dominic Thiem and looked fully confident to repeat his victory in the 2009 US Open final, when he had got the better of Federer to win his first Grand Slam.
Talking about his opponent in the quarters, the Swiss man said, “He (Del Potro) was gone for so long that it’s just really nice to see him back playing these kind of matches. That’s what he came back for, to get crowd support the way he got it.”
As both the men move just one victory away from a possible potential Nadal -Fed clash in the semis, history will be written as for the first time in the last 10 years both look equally confident of a face-off, having come so close in the past years.