Triumphant Nadal blows past Verdasco and closer to final

Triumphant Nadal blows past Verdasco and closer to final

Nadal defeated compatriot and eighth seed Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 and is to face a semi-final against Mikhail Youzhny Saturday.

The Russian 12th seed denied victory to a fighting Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, in a struggle lasting just over four hours.
Federer was to bid for his place against Novak Djokovic, whom he has beaten three straight years in New York.

Speaking of the unprecedented blustery conditions Thursday, Nadal said "It was very difficult to play, one of the more difficult days.
"The serve was important, but it was difficult to control the ball on the toss. This was an important victory for me.

Youzhny won a see-saw battle as his tiring opponent Wawrinka finally paid the price for more than 12 cumulative hours on court.

The 27th-ranked Wawrinka fought hard to try to break new ground by reaching a career-first Grand Slam semi-final after breaking through to the quarters two days earlier.
Wawrinka was battling fatigue after spending five hours more on court during the fortnight than celebrated compatriot Federer. The workload included four sets over title hope Andy Murray, and five sets and more than four hours in beating the last American standing, Sam Querrey, in the fourth round.
"Today Mikhail was playing very good," said Wawrinka. "I tried my best. I tried to fight on all the match, but it was too much.

With wind gusts up to 40 kilometres per hour complicating play for another day, Youzhny had to work to deny the Wawrinka dream as he advanced on his first match point.
"It was tough condition," said Youzhny. "You already know how the wind was going. But sometimes it just was faster or slowly or right or left. It could be in the middle of the point."

Nadal faced more of the same as he defeated Verdasco for the 11th time.
The top seed is bidding for his career Grand Slam, with the US Open the only one of the four majors he has not won.

Organisers are hoping that both Nadal and second-seeded five-timechampion Federer go through into the Sunday title match. Nadal is looking to become just the seventh man in history to complete the career sweep, joining Federer on that honour.

The Spaniard will be playing a Flushing Meadows semi-final for this third year in a row, after losing to Andy Murray in 2008 and eventual champion Juan del Potro a year ago.
Nadal has yet to drop a set at this year's event but was broken for the first time as Verdasco got to him in the third game of the first set.

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