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Thursday, September 9, 2010

The 2010 US Open Thread/Sports Thread #2 For 9/9/10: Nadal Is Through To His Third Straight US Open Semifinal

Photo from AP
Rafael Nadal has impressively advanced past good friend Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 for the 11th time in as many matchups to reach his third straight US Open semifinal.

Unlike the previous two years, Nadal is a heavy favorite to reach the final, as the world number one is both healthy and confident in his game at Flushing Meadows more than he's ever been before.

Verdasco came in to try and replicate the form that lead him to his thrilling comeback win over David Ferrer on Tuesday as well as the memorable 2009 Australian Open 5-set semifinal he had with his fellow Spaniard, breaking Nadal's serve in game three of the first set. It was the first time Nadal was broken in the entire tournament, and it was the last time Verdasco made any serious headway into his opponent's serve.

From then on, Nadal slowly adjusted to the blustery conditions to hammer and frustrate Verdasco, getting the break back and then taking the first set eventually 7-5. The #8 seed's costly back to back double faults to give away his early advantage shifted the momentum in the direction of the eight time Grand Slam Champion.

There was no turning back from there for the Mallorca superstar, mixing usually superb defense with terrific forward aggression. At one point in the match, Nadal hit a 360 degree volley that certainly deserves its place in the highlight reel. Already 10 for 10 against Verdasco, Nadal made sure to keep his 100% record against his amicable rival in full tact by closing the match in routine fashion.

The unlikely but experienced opponent Mikhail Youzhny awaits on Saturday in probably the 2nd match on Ashe that day, trying to join Novak Djokovic in spoiling the covered Nadal-Roger Federer final never seen before scene at the US Open.

And with how they are currently playing, it seems that massive event is inevitable reality.
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