Rafael Nadal said he felt “in good shape” after advancing to the semi-finals of the US Open with a battling 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 win over Argentine 20th seed Diego Schwartzman.
Second seed Nadal, a three-time champion in New York, will play Italy’s Matteo Berrettini for a berth in the final after the 18-time Grand Slam winner overcame a gritty performance from the 5ft 7in (1.70m) Schwartzman.
The Spaniard needed the best part of three hours to record an eighth straight win over two-time US Open quarter-finalist Schwartzman in a match that finished early Thursday morning.
He received treatment to his left forearm early in the third set but swiftly allayed any injury fears, after a knee injury forced him to retire during last year’s semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro.
“I’m feeling good. Today was very humid day, very heavy day. I had some cramps in the end of the second and first five games, six games of the third. And then I take some salt, that’s all, and then was over,” Nadal said.
“The body is in good shape, I think. No big problems. Just of course now a little bit tired, long day, 1:30 (a.m.). Need to go to sleep. But I really believe that I’m going to be in good shape.”
Nadal rolled through the first three rounds untested, a run that included a second-round walkover, but the 33-year-old feels stiffer competition in his past two matches — against Marin Cilic and Schwartzman — has left him primed for another shot at the US Open title.