Five-setter king Anderson outlasts Shapovalov to last-16

Arnold Nichols
September 5, 2018

South African Kevin Anderson's grand slam run came to an end as he lost 7-5 6-2 7-6 to Austria's Dominic Thiem in the round of 16 at the US Open, in NY, on Sunday.

Joining Nadal and Thiem in the quarter-finals will be 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, after the Argentinian beat Croatia's Borna Coric 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.

"It's a big victory for me", said the 32-year-old Nadal, the champion in 2010, 2013 and 2017.

"But I'm really looking forward to play him on a hard court for the first time. He was playing great, hitting the ball very, very strong", the Spaniard said.

It was world number 37 Basilashvili s strength, however, which proved his undoing.

A visibly exhausted but game Basilashvili belted two-fisted backhands, producing 22 winners to snatch the third set in a tiebreak and prolong the match.

The fifth-seeded Anderson lost the crowd to the popular Shapovalov - who exhorted the fans to raise the roof under the sealed conditions - but moved on to play Dominic Thiem on Sunday.

Meanwhile, top seed Rafael Nadal set up an intriguing U.S. Open quarter-final showdown with Dominic Thiem after snuffing out a comeback attempt by Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili with a 6-3 6-3 6-7 (6) 6-4 win in NY.

Straightforward passage to the last eight still appeared on the cards after the unseeded Basilashvili faded rapidly after a bright start, yet a sloppy third set from Nadal forced him to fight into a fourth once more. He followed a thrilling upset bid from Russia's Karen Khachanov in the third round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (8-6), 6-4 win over Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in the fourth round on Sunday.

Nadal will face Dominic Thiem, who knocked out last year's finalist Kevin Anderson to reach the last eight for the first time.

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Del Potro's yet to drop a set at his year's tournament. "It's a dream coming true".

Anderson was hoping to earn a rematch with, who beat him a year ago in the final at Flushing Meadows.

The French Open has been by far Thiem's best grand slam and beating Anderson was a major breakthrough.

Both the men's and women's singles defending champions are through to the last-eight of the US Open grand slam.

Thiem produced a stunning service exhibition‚ winning 91% of points on his first serve and never giving up a break point.

"Against Rafa, I've had three very nice experiences and seven disgusting experiences", said Thiem who turned 25 on Monday.

In the second set Thiem really began to assert himself as Anderson struggled physically.

Anderson won the first six of their head-to-head meetings, all on hard courts.

"On clay, it s one of the biggest challenges in sports to beat this guy". He has done it before, but will need to dig deep tomorrow night at Arthur Ashe Stadium if he hopes to cruise through Nadal at the US Open.

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