Rafael Nadal defeated Andrey Rublev in New York on Wednesday, a result that came in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Us Open. The line score in the match was 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals for Nadal. That's an amazing result for the Spaniard at this late stage of the US Open, one that sets him up for further success. The match took just 96 minutes, a length of time that shouldn't bother the Spaniard when it comes to tapping into his energy reserves.

Why Nadal has the advantage in the semis

In fact Nadal had Tuesday off, he will have Thursday off, and having only played a bare minimum of tennis on Wednesday he should enter Friday's semifinal fresher than his opponent.

The Spaniard will face Juan Martin del Potro, a player that outlasted Roger Federer in four sets on Wednesday evening. That match featured a grueling tiebreaker in the third set. Del Potro, having played five sets in the fourth round, may yet bump into fatigue problems at Flushing Meadows. For certain Nadal should enter the semifinals much fresher following the matches that were played on Wednesday.

Nadal, in outlasting Federer at the 2017 US Open, has protected his No. 1 ranking. But even though he enters the semifinals with good reason to be optimistic about a title one fact that can't be overlooked with Nadal is that he has actually gone ages without winning a hard-court title. The last time the Spaniard claimed one on cement, in any venue big or small, was way back at Doha 2014. Since then he has fallen in 34 straight hard-court events.

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There have been near misses since that time, especially at Melbourne Park earlier this season when Nadal was on the ascension for the title in the 5th set. However, the Spaniard has clear difficulties closing out hard-court events at this stage of his career. That he might end his troubles in a Grand Slam may showcase just how Nadal is a different animal in the majors than in the regular tour events.

Can Nadal get back into G.O.A.T. debate

Arguably, Nadal needs this title to put himself back into the debate when it comes to the all-time great player. He has 15 Grand Slam titles but right now he is looking like he is well behind Federer, a player who has 19. If Nadal can close the gap down to three titles, it would inject some renewed hopes into his chances of perhaps eventually catching Federer.

The draw at this point definitely favors Nadal at the US Open. Looking ahead, the US Open will produce a finalist among Pablo Carreno-Busta and Kevin Anderson. The latter has the bigger game right now, but neither has ever made a Grand Slam final before.

In fact, they are both debuting in the semifinals at the 2017 US Open. Anderson and Carreno-Busta have to be considered the players that have benefited from the absence of all the former semifinalists from recent years. Kei Nishikori, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Stan Wawrinka are all out with an injury. Arguably, that's what opened the spot in the final for Anderson and Carreno-Busta. With Nadal facing a possibly tired del Potro and then, surviving that, an inexperienced finalist the Spaniard looks probable to win the US Open now. Not only would that consolidate his position on top of the world, but it would bring him a third title at Flushing Meadows.