Rafael Nadal cruised into the US Open quarter-finals on Monday by defeating Ukraine’s 64th-ranked Alexandr Dolgopolov.
The 15-time Grand Slam champion, who had not made the US Open last eight since capturing the 2013 title, set up a last-eight meeting with teenager Andrey Rublev.
Nadal, who claimed his 50th US Open match victory, returned to the top ranking last month for the first time since 2011 and is on a collision course to face old rival Roger Federer in the semi-finals. A potentially epic confrontation which would also represent their first meeting at the tournament in their 13-year rivalry.
“I think I played a solid match,” said the 31-year-old Spaniard. “I played with not many mistakes. I know Dolgopolov is a player who can play amazing shots but sometimes he can be a little bit unpredictable.”