Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Normal Service Resumed as Nadal Edges Nearer Clean Sweep

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Normal Service Resumed as Nadal Edges Nearer Clean Sweep

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones in New York

RAFAEL NADAL moved a step closer to becoming only the seventh man to win all four Grand Slams by surging into the US Open semi-finals with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win over Fernando Verdasco last night.

The world No1 lost his serve for the first time at this year's tournament -- Verdasco broke in the opening set to end an incredible run of 61 unblemished games -- but Nadal wrapped up a comprehensive victory to end his dominance over his fellow Spaniard to 11-0. The reigning French Open and Wimbledon champion has never made the final here but lost in the semis in the last two years.

He said: "This is the most important tournament for me and it was a very important victory because I am in the semi-finals again. It is great to have got this far and not lost a set but I must play better to have a chance of winning the final. Roger is the favourite for the tournament because he has won this title five times.

"In my 2008 semi-final against Andy Murray I arrived from Beijing mentally destroyed after winning Roland Garros and Wimbledon. …

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