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Nadal Retains No. 1 Ranking After Trumping Rublev

Top seed Rafael Nadal eased past Russian teenager Andrey Rublev to reach the US Open semi-finals.

Nadal saw off Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in 97 minutes under the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof.

Looking to win his third US Open crown and maintain his grip on the top spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Nadal will face Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-final of the US Open after the 2009 champion defeated 19-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer at Flushing Meadows.

“It was a good match,” said Nadal in his on-court interview.

“Andrey was playing in his first quarter-final and he played with more mistakes than usual. It’s an important victory for me, winning past two matches in straight sets is very good news for me. I’m very, very happy to be in the semi-finals again in New York. It’s very important to me and I’m very excited to have this opportunity again.”

Nadal was dominant with his returns as he broke serve seven times, winning a crushing 71% of points on Rublev’s second serve. The Russian grew increasingly frustrated as seven double faults further hurt his chances of getting anything from the match.

Publev against Nadal at the 2017 US Open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rublev was the youngest man since Andy Roddick in 2001 to reach the quarter finals but was overwhelmed by the World No. 1 on his Arthur Ashe Stadium debut.

It also doubled as the first meeting between a player above 30 and a teenager at this stage (quarter finals) of a Grand Slam since 19-year-old Pete Sampras defeated 31-year-old John McEnroe in the 1990 US Open semi-finals.

Rublev had dazzled with his aggressive play leading into the match, but while he showed flashes of brilliance on the forehand side, the Russian was rarely allowed the opportunity to show the Arthur Ashe crowd what he was capable of.

Nadal acknowledged the fact that inexperience made Rublev freeze out in the match.

“It happened to me, when I was 18, 17 and playing on the tour against players I admired from the TV,” Nadal added.

Nadal has won three of his previous five US Open semi-final appearances, going on to make the final against Novak Djokovic three times, beating the Serbian in 2010 and 2013 and finishing runner-up in 2011.

The Mallorcan is looking to win his second Grand Slam championship of the season, after capturing La Decima at Roland Garros.

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