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By Jonathan Jurejko
BBC Sport at Flushing Meadows
Second seed Rafael Nadal responded to this challenge since he fought to achieve the US Open quarter-finals with a four-set triumph thrown down by 2014 winner Marin Cilic.
33, nadal had too much quality for its Croatian seed that is 22nd at a 6-3 3-6 success in New York.
Cilic, 30rediscovered his form to degree before wilting.
Nadal will perform with seed Diego Schwartzman in the previous eight.
“For some moments in the second group I felt there were a lot of points in his hands, he was pushing me back, more aggression than me, and he hit every ball very powerful,” said Nadal.
“Then second set I believed something should change or I’d be in his palms. I started to return the next function inside the court and that created a different perspective.”
After 2018 winner Novak Djokovic retired hurt from his last-16 match against Stan Wawrinka on Sunday, Nadal is considered the favourite for the title of the men alongside Swiss Roger Federer.
Nadal is currently intending to close the gap into important winner Federer with his fourth title.
The illustrious pair stay on track to match Sunday’s final that, remarkably, would be the very first meeting in New York of the enduring competition.
First Nadal has to watch Schwartzman, who reached the final eight years by defeating German seed Alexander Zverev off.
Federer, 38, plays with his quarter-final from the Grigor Dimitrov at roughly 02:00 BST on Wednesday of Bulgaria.
Nadal encountered issues in a simple opening set to see his range is found by that the Cilic at the second as he cut down to the errors and trapped the Spaniard backagain.
Cilic has looked a shadow of the player who was a fixture within the planet’s top 10, to him sliding to his lowest ranking in over five years, a knee injury at 2018 leading.
That former variant returned as he pushed back Nadal with groundstrokes and backed them up with winners to level the match.
Nevertheless the momentum was dragged away from him by several remarkable returning in an game of the set from Nadal.
Nadal produced a overhead topping that by returning a crush which Cilic should have buried prior to swatting a cross-court backhand winner for 3 break points and scurried forward to reach a drop shot.
As Ashe rose to acclaim the utter brilliance of this Spaniard, golf great Tiger Woods, that animatedly supported Nadal throughout, jumped to his feet.
A deflated Cilic limply handed with a double fault, producing a different as Nadal broke again on his way to a two-set lead.
That problem returned in the first game of the set to break point, providing Nadal after watching a break point, a break that he awakened.
All hope was lost for Cilic Nadal teeing up game point with a stretching forehand winner across the post which left Ashe incredulous before he wrapped up victory in two hours and 49 minutes, by that point.
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Analysis and view from the BBC’s tennis correspondent.
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