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

Top seed Rafael Nadal swept past Russian teenager Andrey Rublev to set up a possible US Open semi-final against Roger Federer.

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 Federer for the first time in New York if the Swiss beats Juan Martin del Potro.

Federer and Del Potro meet in the last quarter-final at about 02:00 BST on Thursday.

“It’s strange we’ve never played here,” said Nadal.

“Of course it is a match I want to see. Two great players and I will be waiting for Roger or Juan Martin.”

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.

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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