NEW YORK -- Second-seeded Rafael Nadal allowed the man who beat Roger Federer only five points in the first set and went on to win his U.S. Open quarterfinal match over fellow Spaniard and the 19th-seeded Tommy Robredo, 6-0, 6-2, 6-2, in 1 hour 40 minutes Wednesday night on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Nadal, who hasn't had his serve broken in this tournament, pounded Robredo from the beginning. The 27-year-old Nadal, who is playing without tape on his chronically sore knees, seems to be moving more freely than he has in two years and from the first point he hit his groundstrokes deep and into all the corners and on the lines.
In the semifnals, Nadal will meet eighth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France, who has played two straight punishing five-setters.
Nadal won 15 of the 16 points he played at the net and had only 15 unforced errors. Nadal served out the win where he lost only five points if his first serve was good. If there was any negative for Nadal, he actually needed a second try at match point. It came when Robredo sent a forehand long. Nadal gave Robredo a sweet embrace at the net and then he spoke to the Ashe Stadium crowd.
"I'm very happy today," Nadal said. "I think I played my best match yet this year at the U.S. Open. Many thanks to everybody for the support being here. I am in the semifinals, an unbelieveable result for me."