US Open digest: champions Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens progress

Justin GreeneSep 05, 2018

"Seems like I was not in control of the point even when I was hitting good shots", he added.

However, it was world number 37 Basilashvili's strength which proved his undoing.

Thiem, this year's French Open runner-up, neutralised the 6-foot-8 Anderson's blistering serve by standing far beyond the baseline and he chased down everything the South African could throw at him.

Basilashvili's approach was all or nothing against the world number one, although unforced errors outstripped winners in the opening two sets before he began to find his range in the third.

Next up for Nadal is a quarter-final against ninth seed Dominic Thiem, who is the only player to beat him on clay for the last two seasons and who ended the run of last year's beaten finalist Kevin Anderson on Sunday.

That will be a rematch of 's victory in the French Open final and will be their first meeting not on clay.

Thiem was about to serve for the match when light rain halted play for 20 minutes at 5-3 in the fourth.

"Thiem is more of a specialist on clay, and so am I, so it [playing him on hard court] is not something favorable for me", the US Open defending champion told Spanish press on Sunday following his four-set win over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Croatia's Borna Coric (L) and Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro shake hands after del Potro won their men's singles tennis match on Day Seven of the 2018 US Open, New York, USA on September 2, 2018.

"It's a dream coming true", said Thiem. He also has wins over the Austrian at all three of the clay court Masters, including in the final in Madrid past year.

Three opportunities came and went for the underdog, with Nadal able to bide his time for a further gain, profiting on careless Basilashvili errors to seemingly cruise towards a simple victory.

Can Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem get through Rafael Nadal next at the US Open?

Thiem dominated on serve, winning 91 percent of his first-serve points (41/45) and never faced a break point.

Now Thiem will try to beat Nadal for the fourth time, saying of their previous matches: "It was three very nice experiences and six frightful experiences".

In the second set Thiem really began to assert himself as Anderson struggled physically.

He had won six of seven meetings against Thiem, including all six on hard courts.

"On clay, it's one of the biggest challenges in sports to beat this guy".

Canada's Milos Raonic celebrates a point against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka during their 2018 US Open men's match August 31, 2018 in NY.

Aug 31, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Denis Shapovalov of Canada reacts against Kevin Anderson of South Africa (not pictured) in the third round on day five of the US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Shapovalov hit a ball that was ruled out of play by a line judge that was quickly corrected by the chair ump.

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