US Open 2017: Rafael Nadal beats Andrey Rublev to make semi-finals

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal first played in the US Open main draw in 2003
US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 Aug-10 Sept
BBC coverage: Live radio and text commentary on selected matches every day.

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

Nadal, 31, saw off 19-year-old Rublev 6-1 6-2 6-2 in one hour and 37 minutes under the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof.

The Spaniard will face Juan Martin del Potro in the last four after the 2009 champion beat Roger Federer in four sets at Flushing Meadows.

Federer's defeat means Nadal will retain the world number one ranking next week.

Rublev was the youngest man since Andy Roddick in 2001 to reach the last eight, and he was overwhelmed by the world number one on his Arthur Ashe Stadium debut.

It was the first meeting between a 30-something and a teenager at this stage of a Grand Slam since 19-year-old Pete Sampras beat 31-year-old John McEnroe in the 1990 US Open semi-finals.

This time around, it was experience that told.

Nadal's return dominated as he broke serve seven times, winning a crushing 71% of points on the Rublev second serve, and the Russian grew increasingly frustrated as seven double faults further hurt his chances.

Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev knocked out Grigor Dimitrov on his way to the last eight

The teenager did peg Nadal back early in the first set and had two break points to get back on terms in the second, but the top seed was never seriously threatened.

Four games in a row wrapped up the first set 23 minutes and a forehand winner brought Nadal a similarly one-sided second after 58 minutes.

Rublev battled gamely to cling on through six break points at 3-1 down in the third, but for the third time in the match he eventually succumbed with a double fault on a break point, tossing his racquet away in disgust.

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

"It's great to have a new generation coming. He is one of the players that has a great future and I wish him all the very best."

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