Del Potro was just 20 years old when he downed the Swiss legend 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 but Federer believes that he was the dominant force in that 2009 showdown. This is getting interesting now!
Del Potro said he hopes to repeat his 2009 victory over Nadal ahead of his epic five-set victory over Federer to capture his only Grand Slam title.
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal has taken the first set 6-2 from Alexandr Dolgopolov in their fourth-round match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
On Monday, del Potro rolled back the years saving two match points before going on to defeat Dominic Thiem 1-6 2-6 6-1 7-6 (6-1) 6-4.
At one stage a year ago, his world ranking, once as high as four in the world, slumped to 1,045 and he even considered retiring. The other significant edge for Nadal is that Rublev, a junior French Open champ, is mainly a clay-proficient baseliner, the kind Nadal has seen and beat a thousand times in his career.
"I think I have been improving during the whole event, and I have been doing step forward match by match, and now is the moment to do it, another step forward, a little bit higher is possible, too".
Rublev's resistance had by this point completely evaporated and a double fault at the start of the third set, followed by dropping serve again in a lengthy game five saw Nadal - whose first ever US Open appearance came against Rublev's coach Fernando Vicente - coast into the last four.
Pliskova advances to the quarterfinals, where she awaits the victor of the Round of 16 match between American CoCo Vandeweghe, the No. 20 seed, and Lucie Safarova. Federer didn't allow a single break on his serve, overwhelming Kohlschreiber and never granting him a legitimate opportunity to play his way back into the match down the stretch.
Federer entered the quarterfinals with an 18-0 Grand Slam record this season, including titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon to raise his record count to 19 major championships. "It is true that I was able to have the break earlier, but really I felt more comfortable from since the beginning".
"I just ran into a guy who was better on the bigger points".
"Oh my God", Del Potro told the crowd after the match on the court.
"I feel like the way I'm playing right now it's not good enough to win this tournament".
That has had an effect on his two-handed backhand, to be sure, but the righty swing that produces massive forehands and serves is still intact - as Federer himself noted at his news conference and on Twitter.