Nadal new favourite for US Open after professional victory
Top seed Rafael Nadal booked his place in the US Open quarter-finals with a business-like victory over fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez at Flushing Meadows.
Nadal broke Lopez, ranked 23rd for the tournament, once in each of the three sets to record a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory that showed him at his most professional rather than dominant.
The 24-year-old was quickly into his stride, breaking at the first attempt as he notched the first three games of the match.
Lopez did manage to halt the procession but Nadal was looking strong and even managed to defend four break points on his way to a 6-3 first-set win.
The Wimbledon champion was forced to work hard at the start of the second set, which followed serve for four games until Lopez capitulated with a weak third service game.
That offered Nadal a chance to seal the set provided he could defend his own serve and with Lopez looking functional rather than inspired he did so, serving to love to clinch a 2-0 advantage.
Lopez continued to work hard but he simply did not have the firepower to dent his illustrious countryman’s serve.
Nadal made his move in the ninth game of the third set, breaking and then serving out the match in style and will now face another Spaniard in Fernando Verdasco in the quarter-finals.
The Spaniard is yet to be broken in the tournament so far and victory has seen him trimmed into 6/5 to win the US Open, ahead of Federer at 11/8.
Quarter-finals are underway today and Federer is 2/9 to beat Soderling. See the full US Open tennis betting market here.