Rafael Nadal defeated Marin Cilic 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-2 in a conflict of the former US Open champions to seal a quarter-final spot at Flushing Meadows.
The Spaniard dropped his first set of the tournament against the 2014 winner, before rallying to shut a four-set victory in fashion.
When given a time breach because he served midway through the next set, and was broken moments later nadal was clearly annoyed.
The competition levelled at one but the next seed recovered – dropping three matches across the last two places to prepare a quarter-final showdown from Diego Schwartzman, that dumped seed Alexander Zverev out.
Nadal produced a stunning winner that was around-the-net to deliver up match point and he made no mistake to clinch a spot in his US Open quarter-final.
“It’s a simple shot to describe, but hard to create,” said Nadal. “I don’t understand, I think I followed the chunk good because he had a good volley and that I saw it.
“I ran fast to the ball and that I saw at the last minute there could maybe be a small space on that side.
“I believe it was the only way to win that point. I struck it well, yet to reach that place you need some luck.”
Nadal’s victory moves him closer into some US Open assembly from his great rival Roger Federer. 40 times have clashed in an iconic rivalry spanning 15 years, but they have never met at this competition.
Federer faces Grigor Dimitrov at the previous eight and he boasts a 100 percent record from the Bulgarian, with won all seven of their previous experiences.
While monitoring by two sets and consequently, Federer and Nadal are fancied to contest their Grand Slam final on Sunday after retiring against Stan Wawrinka defending champion Novak Djokovic bowed out.
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