Con­sis­tency helps Nadal over­come power of Basi­lashvili

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - SPORT -

RAFAEL NADAL took the round­about route again be­fore de­feat­ing Nikoloz Basi­lashvili to set up a fourth-round clash with Do­minic Thiem at the US Open.

Ge­or­gian Basi­lashvili had won just a sin­gle game against Nadal in their only pre­vi­ous meet­ing at the French Open last year, but played su­perbly here to take a set be­fore go­ing down 6-3 6-3 6-7 (6/8) 6-4 af­ter three hours and 18 min­utes.

Basi­lashvili thumped 56 win- ners com­pared to 30 for Nadal, but the Spa­niard’s greater con­sis­tency ul­ti­mately saw him through to face Thiem, the only man to beat him on clay for the last two years.

Nadal said: “Two matches in a row very tough ones. I had a big chance at the be­gin­ning of the third, if I make that break, maybe things will be dif­fer­ent. But I didn’t.

“I think I played a good tiebreak, but he played fan­tas­tic. A lot of credit to him. He was play­ing great, hit­ting the ball very, very strong. It seems like I was not in con­trol of the point even when I was hit­ting good shots.

“I’m very happy to be through. I think I did what I have to do. It’s a big vic­tory for me be­cause of what hap­pened two days ago. The phys­i­cal is­sue was there of course, but I feel good.”

Roger Fed­erer stole the show against Nick Kyr­gios. The pair met in the third round in the most highly-an­tic­i­pated men’s match of the tour­na­ment so far, but it proved to be style over sub­stance as Fed­erer raced to a 6-4 6-1 7-5 vic­tory in­side two hours.

A quar­ter-fi­nal clash be­tween Fed­erer and No­vak Djokovic seems in­evitable.

The Wim­ble­don cham­pion put aside the ups and downs of the first two rounds with a bril­liant dis­play to de­feat Richard Gas­quet 6-2 6-3 6-3 and next plays Por­tu­gal’s Joao Sousa.

Fourth seed Alexan­der Zverev suf­fered an­other dis­ap­point­ing grand slam loss, this time to com­pa­triot Philipp Kohlschreiber, but former cham­pion Marin Cilic came from two sets down to de­feat Aus­tralian teenager Alex De Min­aur 4-6 3-6 6-3 6-4 7-5 with the game end­ing at 2.22am.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Sloane Stephens is the sole re­main­ing top-six seed left in the women’s sin­gles af­ter a day of up­sets on Satur­day at Flush­ing Mead­ows.

Wim­ble­don cham­pion An­gelique Ker­ber and fifth seed Pe­tra Kvi­tova both fell on Louis Arm­strong Sta­dium, while sixth seed Caro­line Gar­cia also lost.

Kvi­tova was the last vic­tim of the day, the two-time Wim­ble­don cham­pion over­pow­ered by 20-year-old Aryna Sa­balenka.

Ker­ber’s exit, join­ing Si­mona Halep and Caro­line Woz­ni­acki, means there will be four dif­fer­ent grand slam cham­pi­ons for the sec­ond year in a row.

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