Rafael Nadal is safely into the US Open semi-finals, although not without some injury fears as he battled the heat and humidity in New York.
Nadal is the overwhelming favourite to win the tournament with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both already out, but he was made to work incredibly hard for his progression by Argentinian pocket-rocket Diego Schwartzman.
The second seed came through 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in the end, although Schwartzman’s supreme will to compete meant that Nadal needed nearly three hours to get the job done.
And that took its toll on the Spaniard, who needed attention from the physio twice in the final set. He, though, has reassured fans that he is fine.
“Physically I am fine,” Nadal said. “Today was a very heavy day, big humidity.
“I am a player who sweats a bit, so it troubles a bit but I started to feel better towards the end.
“Just can say, thank you very much everyone for staying here, means a lot to me, thank you very much for the support. I worked hard for nights like these.”
Nadal came through the bruising match with what appeared to be comfort on the scoreboard, but he was keen to stress that the reality was very different.
“Straight sets but big challenge, especially after the first sets where I lost four games in a row,” said Nadal.
“He is very difficult to stop when confident. I had some mistakes of course.
“Super happy that I accepted the situation and challenge and kept going. I’m in the semi-final and it means everything.”
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