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From Jonathan Jurejko
BBC Sport at Flushing Meadows
Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal responded to this challenge because he fought to achieve the US Open quarter-finals using a four-set triumph thrown down by 2014 winner Marin Cilic.
33, nadal had too high quality at a 6-3 3-6 victory in New York for the Croatian seed.
30, cilic rediscovered his form before wilting to level.
Nadal will play seed Diego Schwartzman in the previous eight.
“For some moments in the second set I felt there were too many factors in his palms, he was pushing me more aggression than me, and he hit every ball quite strong,” said Nadal.
“After that second set I believed something should change or I’d be in his palms. I began to go back the second serve within the court and that created a different perspective.”
Novak Djokovic retired hurt from his last-16 game against Stan Wawrinka on Sunday,” Nadal is considered the joint favourite for the name of the men alongside excellent Roger Federer.
Nadal is aiming to close the gap into key winner Federer using his fourth title.
The illustrious pair stay on course to match in Sunday’s final which are the very first meeting in New York of the enduring rivalry.
First Nadal must watch off by beating German seed Alexander Zverev, Schwartzman, who reached the last eight years for the second time.
Federer, 38, plays his quarter-final against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov at roughly 02:00 BST on Wednesday.
Nadal encountered problems in a opening set, simply to observe his range is found by that the Cilic in the second because he trapped the Spaniard back and cut down on the unforced errors .
Cilic has looked a shadow of the player that was a fixture inside the planet’s best 10, to him sliding to his lowest ranking in more than five years, a knee injury at 2018 leading.
That preceding form returned since he pushed straight back Nadal and backed them up with pinpoint champions to level the game.
However the momentum was dragged away from him by several notable returning from Nadal in an exhilarating fourth game of the next set.
Nadal scurried forward to reach a drop shot and produced a overhead for 0-30, topping by somehow returning a smash which Cilic must have buried before swatting away a cross-court backhand winner for 3 break points.
As Ashe rose to acclaim the brilliance of this Spaniard, Tiger Woods, that animatedly supported Nadal during, leapt to his feet.
A Cilic limply handed with a double fault, producing yet a different as Nadal broke for a 5-1 lead on his way into some two-set lead.
That problem returned in the first game of the first series to fracture, providing Nadal a vital break he awakened after seeing off a split point.
We all hope was lost for Cilic by that point, Nadal teeing up match point with a forehand winner around the article that left Ashe incredulous again before he wrapped up victory in 2 hours and 49 minutes.
Lady Erika Rosenbaum describes her encounter
Analysis and view from the BBC’s tennis correspondent.
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