The defending champion and No 1 seed at Flushing Meadows recovered from his disastrous start and other stumbles along the way to beat No 9 Dominic Thiem of Austria 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) for a semi-final berth at a third consecutive Grand Slam tournament, winning a physical, back-and-forth tussle that stretched across and concluded after 2am on Wednesday in NY.
Thiem will be playing in his fourth Slam quarter-final but first outside of the French Open where he was a semi-finalist in 2016 and 2017 before this year's run to the championship match.
Nadal held serve to win his first game of the match to start the second set and dug deep in a grueling back-and-forth classic to advance to the semifinals, 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7, 7-6. "I feel like I've improved so much in my game, mentally", said Shapovalov. "He's a close friend on tour, a great guy and I wish him the very best".
Isner, 33, who will become a father for the first time in two weeks, said he will not fear del Potro even though he has lost to the Argentine star seven times in 11 meetings.
Fifth seed Anderson had won all six previous hardcourt meetings against Thiem but on Sunday he struggled to get his legs moving against his younger opponent. He was agonizingly close to getting there past year at the U.S. Open, leading by two sets against Juan Martin del Potro in the round of 16 before the 2009 champion roared back to win. I could go very far back like I do on clay usually. Thiem, not Anderson, dominated on serve, winning 91 percent of his first-serve points (41/45) and never facing a break point.
"I also played really safe from the baseline, which is also a big part of the performance today". "Really going to have to focus on my game, continue doing what I'm doing". Finally, Basilashvili's strength waned and in the fourth set, the Spaniard broke out into a 4-3 lead to end the match victorious.
Two days later Nadal, who played without any strapping on his right knee, needed another three hours 19 minutes to overcome Basilashvili. "Yeah, I need to play my best match of the tournament if I want to keep having chances to stay in the tournament".
Dominic Thiem had to back up to go forward.
Top-seeded Nadal followed a thrilling upset bid from Karen Khachanov in the third round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (8-6), 6-4 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili in the fourth round on Sunday.
Williams finished with 18 aces and 47 total winners.
"To win in straight sets in every round is good for the body and physical condition", said del Potro. He is likely to take a short break before tackling the Far East Asia section of the ATP calendar next month, which includes big events in China and Japan, and concludes with the Shanghai Masters tournament, where 1 000 ranking points will be up for grabs.