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US Open: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer one step away from dream semifinal

The US Open quarterfinals will reveal whether the semifinal matchup of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will become a reality. So far, mainly underdogs have reached the semis.

The men's top player, Rafael Nadal of Spain is to face 19-year-old Andrey Rublev in his quarterfinal match this Wednesday. The 53rd ranked Russian has displayed no shortage of confidence during his run to the quarterfinals, and this hasn't changed ahead of his clash with Nadal.

"I have a good shots. I can play really fast," the teenager warned Nadal, who is 12 years his senior.

In the evening session, Switzerland's world No. 3, Roger Federer, is to face Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina. 

Wednesday's first match will see women's No. 1 Karolina Pliskova, who demolished Jennifer Brady 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals, face off against another American when she plays 20th seed Coco Vandeweghe.

Madison Keys, one of four Americans in the quarterfinals this year, plays Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi.

Three underdogs advance

On Tuesday, the evening session ended with South Africa's Kevin Anderson reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal at the ripe old age of 31, by beating local hero Sam Querrey 7-6 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-3, 7-6 (7). This was a matchup of two of the tour's big servers - the 31st-ranked Anderson finished with 22 aces, Querrey hit 20.

On Friday, Anderson is to face another man making his major semifinal debut. Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, ranked 19th, beat Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

Venus in third major semifnal of 2017

On the women's side, 37-year-old Venus Williams reached her third major semifinal of the season, something she last accomplished 15 years ago, by beating Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic  6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2).

"Definitely felt like a special match. No easy moments, not easy to hold serve or break serve," said Williams, who won the US Open in 2000 and 2001. "This match meant a lot to me, obviously, playing at home and, of course, it being a major."

Her win set up an all-American semifinal after unseeded Sloane Stephens downed Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4).

pfd/jh (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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