Scrappy 'Nadal through to the US Open semi-finals



Rafael Nadal said he felt "in good shape" after advancing to the U.S. Open semifinals with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Argentine 20th seed Diego Schwartzman.

New York three-time champion Nadal will play Italy's Matteo Berrettini in the final after the 18-time Grand Slam winner overcame a magnificent 5ft 7in (1.70m) Schwartzman performance.

The Spaniard needed the best of three hours to secure an eighth win in the U.S. Open quarterfinals Schwartzman in a game that ended early Thursday morning.

He received treatment on his left arm early in the third set, but the fear of injury quickly followed him after a knee injury forced him to retire against Juan Martin del Potro during last year's semi-final.

"I feel good. Today was a very humid day, very heavy day. I had cramps at the end of the second and first five games, six games of the third. And then I take salt, that's all, and then it's over, "Nadal said." I think the body is in good shape. No big problems. Just of course a little tired now, long day, 1:30 (am). Must go to bed. But I really believe that I'm going to be in good shape. ”

Nadal went through the first three rounds without a test, a run that included a second round, but the 33-year-old feels fierce competition in his past two games - against Marin Cilic and Schwartzman - which left him for another. a shot at the US Open title.

"In my opinion, I'm a step ahead today. That match gives me confidence. Two games in a row against two tough opponents. It's a moment to step up a little more, and I really believe I can do it, "Nadal said.

The victory over Schwartzman pushed Nadal to a 33rd Grand Slam semi-final - third in history behind Roger Federer (45) and Novak Djokovic (36) - while finishing the last four in New York for the eighth time.

Nadal is the only former major champion left in the men's field following the elimination of Federer and Djokovic, who left him as the leading forerunner in his quest for a 19th major title.

"I just won a very important game for myself, and this is the moment to enjoy this win. Tomorrow afternoon I will think about what the plan is for tomorrow, ”he said. “Today is the moment to enjoy the feeling of being back in the Grand Slam semi-finals again. I made the four semifinals of the four Grand Slams this year, and that's a lot. Many, many remain for it. "

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