Nadal eases into U.S. Open quarters
By Julian Linden
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal edged closer to a place in his first U.S. Open final after thrashing fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-4 6-4 on Tuesday with another devastating serving performance.
The world number one, who would complete the collection of grand slam titles with a victory at Flushing Meadows, shrugged off swirling winds at Arthur Ashe Stadium to wrap up his fourth straight sets win of this year's championship in a little over two hours.
The start was delayed because of a backlog of matches and did not finish until early Wednesday morning despite Nadal's best efforts to get it over as quickly as possible.
The result appeared a foregone conclusion from the moment Nadal strolled out to center court, dressed menacingly in an all-black outfit, and opened up a 3-0 lead.
"I think I am playing well, but I am not playing yet at my highest level," Nadal said.
"I am playing better and better every day and I had to play a little bit better this match."
Nadal has yet to lose a game on his service in the entire championship and against Lopez, the 23rd seed, he won a staggering 90 per cent of first serve points. His fastest delivery was timed at 135 mph.
Lopez had a great chance to break Nadal in the first set when he had him 0-40 but the top seed immediately snuffed him out. Continued...