The last Grand Slam of the tennis season, the US Open is at the quarterfinal stage and it may yet again see perennial rivals, world number 2 Rafael Nadal and world number 3 Roger Federer square it out against each other in the final barring no further upset in the tournament men's draw. With the defending champion Novak Djokovic(1) out of the last 8 due to injury and 6 other top 10-seeded players Dominic Thiem(4), Alexander Zverev(6), Kei Nishikori(7), Stefanos Tsitsipas(8), Karen Khachanov(9) & Roberto Bautista(10) eliminated from the competition, leaving just Rafael Nadal(2), Roger Federer(3) & Damiil Medvedev(5) as the remaining top-ranked players of the last 8, it seems like an easy ride to the final for both Nadal and Federer.
R. Federer vs Grigor Dimitrov, QF
First into the quarterfinal was Federer, the Swiss maestro eased into the last 8 with a swift straight sets 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 win over Belgian's David Goffin in the round of 16 earlier on Monday draws. On his way to the last 8, Federer was given scares in his 1st-2 matches, dropping the 1st set against an unseeded Sumit Nagal from India but recovering to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 & 6-4 in the round of 128 and then dropping the 1st set again in the round of 64 against another unseeded player, Bosnia and Herzegovina Damir Dzumhur but yet again rallied to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 & 6-4. Federer was however ruthless in his round of 32 straight sets 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 win over United Kingdom Dan Evans.
Federer has now qualified for his 56th Grand Slam quarterfinals, where he will now face the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the last 4 and a chance to win his 6th US Open title and a 21st Grand Slam title.
R. Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman, QF
Rafael Nadal also joined Federer in the last 8 after overcoming Croatia's Marin Cilic in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 win. It was Nadal's 1st set dropped in the tournament so far, having ease past the earlier rounds in straight sets, round of 128 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Australia's John Millman, then, an easy passage into round of 32 after his round of 64 opponent, another Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis retired due to injury. And then, a straight-sets win 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 over South Korean's Chung Hyeon to reach the round of 16.
Standing in Nadal's way to the semis is the Argentine Diego Schwartzman(20). It's Nadal's 9th quarterfinal appearances at the US Open, his 40th quarterfinals in the Grand Slams, as the Spaniard aims to win his 4th US Open titles and 19th Grand Slam titles.
The remaining quarterfinal lineups include Damiil Medvedev(5) vs Stan Wawrinka(23) & Gael Monfils(13) vs Matteo Berrettini(24). Not underrating the other quarterfinalist, especially Stan Wawrinka who can trouble both Nadal and Federer, however, the odds still favour both the world number 2(Nadal) & 3(Federer). If Nadal-Federer materialises, it would be a dream showdown at the tournament. The last time both players met was at the semifinal of the last Grand Slam Wimbledon where Federer came out top in a 4-sets thriller. However, it's Nadal who holds the highest win over Federer, winning 10 of their 14 Grand Slam clashes and 24 out of 40 overall clashes.