Rafael Nadal defeats Marin Cilic to reach ninth US Open quarterfinal

Nadal owns their head-to-head, 6-2, with Cilic only winning their first-ever encounter in 2009 as well as their quarterfinal match at the 2018 Australian Open, after Nadal was forced to retire.

You know Rafael Nadal is in trouble when he starts inching back while returning serve, standing deeper and deeper until he is nearly level with the line umpire.

A blistering cross-court backhand passing victor off a Cilic overhead elicited a fired-up fist-pump from Woods, who was equally appreciate of an outrageous round-the-netpost forehand that brought up match point.

"I saw him play a couple of matches during this tournament, he was playing great".

"He's an incredible inspiration, all the things that he [has] accomplished in the sport, the way that he managed to keep fighting that hard".

Nadal, who like Woods has endured more than his fair share of injury nightmares, looked healthy and hungry at Flushing Meadows, where he is chasing a fourth US Open title after 2010, 2013 and 2017.

Tiger Woods has sent fans into a meltdown at the US Open after sending Rafael Nadal his support with his famous fist pump in the Round of 16. I love the sport and feel very lucky to still be playing tennis here.


Of course, to take control against Nadal you have to be playing at a very high level yourself and during the second set of his fourth round match, Marin Cilic did just that. "I always said I never had big idols, but if I had to say one, one idol is him".

"He is one of the most talented players on our tour", said Nadal, who sometimes trains with Schwartzman.

In April, he won his 15th major after completing a memorable victory at the Masters, his first major win since the 2008 US Open. "I was way back on the return and he had the right determination to go inside the court and hit every ball very strong".

'Honestly, it's much better if Tiger doesn't see my swing, ' Nadal said. 'Maybe he can lose a little bit of rhythm after that'.

Nadal, ranked No. 2 in the world, moved one step closer to another final showdown against Roger Federer but first he needs to get past Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.

"It will be a big challenge".

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