Spanish tennis stalwart – Rafael Nadal kept finding another gear at crucial moments to secure his eighth semifinal berth in New York at the iconic Arthur Ashe on Thursday. The second seed Nadal defeated Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in straight sets during the men’s singles quarterfinal. This was Nadal’s eighth win in as many meeting against the spirited Argentine.

Schwartzman put up firm resistance against Nadal and twice fought back from double-break deficits in the first two sets, but the Spaniard kept him at bay on crucial points. The three-time champ played an aggressive style of tennis right from the word go in the first set and he quickly took a 4-0 lead.

But Schwartzman was able to win four games in succession to bring the scoreline to 4-4. However, Nadal was able to maintain his composure on the court and he was able to win the first set 6-4. The second set was also a closely fought affair as both players went back and forth to keep the intensity of the match alive.

The 33-year-old Nadal was able to maintain his composure and he took the second set 7-5. After winning the first two sets, Nadal did not waste time in wrapping up the third set and he won it 6-2.

Nadal will now face Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the semifinal at Flushing Meadows. Berrettini had defeated Gael Monfils 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) in the quarter-finals. Earlier, both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were knocked out of the tournament.

“Straight sets but big challenges especially after the first two sets, having 4-0 and 5-1 and losing both breaks in a row, but I know how good he is when he’s confident,” Nadal said.

“I’m so happy how I accepted the situation and challenge and kept going, point after point. Here I am in the semi-finals. I’m super happy, it means everything.”