PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Alexandr Dolgopolov to reach US Open quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal has recorded a straight-sets victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open.

The two-time US Open champion continued his good form at Flushing Meadows with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 triumph over the Ukrainian player. It was Rafa’s 50th victory in New York.

After the match, Rafa said:

 I think I played a solid match. I know he is a player who can play amazing shots but sometimes a little bit unpredictable. He combined amazing points with mistakes so I tried to be focused with myself.

He was returning with a slice forehand I felt that, if I hit the forehand down the line, he has less space to attack.

Carlos Moya, it is great to have him on the team. He’s more than a coach. He’s one of the best friends I ever had on the tour.

I think he came with a lot of motivation and ideas and very positive all the time and believing a lot in what we’re doing. A combination of him, Toni and Francis has been great. (via BBC)

Rafa, top-seed in New York, had not lost to Dolgopolov since 2015, and he had little trouble in moving closer to the last eight as he recorded two breaks of serve during the opening set. In the ninth game of the second set they played a brutal rally after which Rafa broke and won the set. The final set was a routine for our champ.

He will next face the winner of the match between David Goffin and Andrey Rublev.


  1. Rafa, be prepared to play under the roof if it rains. Wishing you “calm nerves” in today’s match.

    I hope by tomorrow DelPo’s case of the flu is history so he can send Fed packing.

    Trust your instincts and don’t obsess over where the ball will land.


  2. How great Rafa now have a rest before your next match Rafa.

    All the best,

    Love and Prayers,


  3. Looking forward to his next match and praying his confidence is still with him. So, so want him to win his 16 th grand slam. Don’t want him to grow older too, want to see him play for years to come.

  4. Hi everyone. I’ve just finished watching 3 overlapping R4 matches in a row, having some days off work. A bit exhausted but it was worth it. 🙂 Love the strange, epic five-setters between DP and Thiem. I will rewatch Rafa’s match tomorrow but here is my summary of the match so far. I do this after every match but rarely, if at all, post it here.

    – Rafa was calmer. The sun and no roof might have helped though.
    – No DF in his 1st service game again (one in the 2nd though)
    – 1st % improved to 70%, winning 82% of them. But what more impressive is 79% win on 2nd serve. It was 50%++ in the previous matches. Rafa needs this special stat on 2nd serve to really make a difference.
    – Great and much much improved W/UE ratio at 23/11
    – More depth on the return
    – Much shorter points. The Daniel match was a disaster in this regard. Distance covered 15.5m/p for Rafa. Only 9.9 in this match. For reference, averagely it was 9.8 at Wimby, 11.9 at RG.
    – Didn’t have to chase a lot of dropshots like in the previous matches. Those sprints and abrupt braking/sliding on HC are punishing to his knees and ankles.
    – Still as handy at the net as ever
    – FH and BH both clicked. BH found more range than in the previous matches. Was both slicing beautifully and dealing with Dolgo weird FH slices masterfully. Love watching that.
    – Was able to read Dolgo’s serve and predict his shots much better. He confirmed this in the presser.
    – Better timing because of that and also because the conditions were like when he normally practises.
    – And of course. He converted! Admittedly with some help from Dolgo but bottom line is you have to grab your chances when you have them.
    – Hence no tug of war, lengthy multiple deuce games which are exhausting both mentally and physically and plants doubt into his head.
    – Consolidated every time, which unfortunately is not his strength these days. This is extremely important.
    – Started cruising after getting the 1st set as usual. This time it was the 1st break. No more waiting stuff. Rafa definitely needs to win the 1st set now much more than he used to.
    – Under 2hr match. 1:41hrs to be exact. 🙂

    Now cons:
    – ROS still from the Long Island
    – Still hit a lot blunt short balls to the middle of the court. He’s lucky Dolgo didn’t exploit that most of time. Dolgo preferred more flashy sharp angles and line kissing. And he paid.
    – Still had some troubles hitting through the court. The slowness doesn’t help him in this regard.
    – Still very vulnerable at being stretched wide out due to poor court position. He simply can’t cover the court nearly as well as he used to.
    – Didn’t come to the net nearly enough. Only 5/7 on NPs. It was 19/23 against Mayer and 23/30 against Daniel.
    Rafa actually has the best record on NP %on tour! He just doesn’t come to the net that much. Best touch remains debatable but the most efficient he surely is. Rarely it’s under 70% and he’s one of the very few who can volley under presser, something even Fed is not good at. Bottom line is, pls COME TO THE NET more, Rafa!
    – Still wasted multiple MPs. He often steps up at deuces but not on ad points. A bit lucky Dolgo UEed on big points quite a lot.

    Yep this is might be a bit picking and that perfect match is in fact a rare thing. But all in all a very positive match for Rafa and should give him a lot of confidence.

    Rublev is a serious talent and he’s not erratic like Dolgo though. I like what I have seen so far from the nice kid. Another up and coming big hitter – Rafa’s kryptonite these years it seems. Really hope Rafa will play a statement match this time, sending a message to tour and of course, Fed.

    Many congrats to Rafa and his team for making the QFs. Many congrats to us fans too. 🙂

    Night night / good day everyone. 🌜🌞

    • You’ve said it all Rainier. Nice analysis, thanks.

      Rafa will need to play this same way and even much better so he can get through Rublev in a hurry and prepare for that ultimate showdown against a certain former US Open champion:):)

      Well done Rafa. Keep it up against Rublev!!

      • Hi Mac. Thanks for the nice words.

        Every match is played by two players. So this match could actually be flattering for Rafa in terms of the score. It’s obvious that Dolgopolov, as talented as he is and with great momentum coming to this match, wasn’t at his best. He failed at almost every big points and Rafa capitalised on that.

        That’s clutchness and is separated from a player’s actual level of play. Of course we don’t have a ‘levelmeter’ to assess it precisely :p. So all the analyses are more or less subjective anyway. Those ramblings I post here are just my personal observations, not “analyses” by any means. I’m no expert, just a tennis fan. So pls forgive and correct/challenge me when you think I’m wrong, I’d appreciate that. 🙂

    • Ros and court position and ball on the rise always worries me….he has to make the changes….I don’t know who is at fault for all aspects jus clicked

      • Hi Ameroxx. Rafa said, “No one wins alone”. So it’s a team work. But doing the actual stuff on court, it’s every bit Rafa and Rafa only.

        His team actually has convinced him to stand closer to the baseline on return, especially on 2nd serve. But when he’s not confident he usually stands far back like that.

        Sometimes he steps up. Sometimes he takes risks. But usually it doesn’t last long. His standing so far behind the baseline even on super weak 2nd serve (like Taro’s the other day) is like a pacifier to a baby (haha, pls don’t mind the analogy). He knows it’s not ideal but he feels more comfortable that way and that he knows he still has a lot of other strengths to fall back on.

    • Good analysis Rainier. Regarding Rafa’s return position, patrick Mouratoglou gave an excellent insight on that. Video is on youtube. Standing a bit further from the baseline is not always a bad thing in tennis (esp when receiving first serves) as Rafa likes to hit with a bigger swing with his forehand. This works well for him on clay. However on hard surface, the balls comes faster and have lower bounce than on clay, therefore he is forced to come a bit closer but his swing is not the same and the returns not as good in quality.

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