Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Three-time champion Rafael Nadal advanced to the U.S. Open semifinals for the third consecutive year Wednesday night with a straight sets victory against 20th-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
The Spaniard won the two-hour, 46-minute match 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Nadal has now advanced to eight U.S. Open semifinals during his terrific tennis tenure.
"It was straight sets, but a big challenge," Nadal said in his post-match interview. "Especially after the first two sets."
Nadal was up 4-0 in the first set before Schwartzman roared back to tie the set at 4-4. Nadal won the final two games of the 57-minute set. The No. 2 player in the world was up 5-1 in the second set before Schwartzman rallied to tie the set at 5-5. Nadal again closed out the final two games to win the set.
Schwartzman and Nadal exchanged games in the final set before Nadal won the final four games consecutively. The Spaniard won the match on a Schwartzman backhand forced error.
"When he has that confidence, he is very difficult to stop," Nadal said. "I had some mistakes of course -- two breaks in a row. But I am super happy with the way I accepted the situation and accepted the challenge. I just kept going point-by-point.
"Here I am in the semifinals ... It means everything."
Nadal had 39 unforced errors in the victory, compared to Schwartzman's 37. He had 35 winners and won 71 percent of his net points in the quarterfinal match.
The 2010, 2013 and 2017 U.S. Open champion, Nadal takes on Matteo Berrettini Friday for a spot in the men's final.