By Jake Davies
- Rafael Nadal  vs Dominic Thiem 
- Serena Williams  vs Karolina Pliskova 
- Juan Martin Del Potro  vs John Isner 
NEW YORK, USA – The first of the quarter-finals are set, with US Open champions past and present headlining our Three to See for Day 9.
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Rafael Nadal  vs Dominic Thiem  H2H: Nadal leads 6-3
The most interesting of the three matches to look out for on Day 9 of the US Open sees defending champion Rafael Nadal faces the young pretender in Dominic Thiem for a spot in the semi-finals of the US Open.
Nadal has had to come through some inspired performances over his last two opponents. Beating Karen Khachanov in four sets before doing the same against Nikoloz Basilashvili. The worrying thing for the Spaniard would be that in long spells of both those matches the match was simply not under his control and that is where Nadal feels his most vulnerable and Thiem has the game to really bother the US Open champion.
Thiem already has three wins over Nadal and the reason he has enjoyed such success is because he has the weapons to take Nadal outside of his comfort zone and he has the forehand that can blow an opponent off court with relative ease. It is an intriguing battle overall as Thiem is one of the rare players that has been able to consistently be problematic to Nadal on his beloved clay, but you just get the feeling that Nadal will problem-solve is way to yet another victory under intense conditions.
Prediction: Nadal in four sets
Serena Williams  vs Karolina Pliskova  H2H: First meeting
Karolina Pliskova has worked her way through the draw very well so far and showing some confidence in a season which has troubled her in long spells. Showing the devastating blows off her heavy ground-strokes more consistently and she is managing the ratio of her ace and double fault count much better and we know that when her serve is working efficiently that she is a tough match-up for most people on tour.
Pliskova is currently working at this Grand Slam with temporary coach and former Grand Slam champion Conchita Martinez and it feels like the additional messages, the extra guidance and an extra voice is something that has really rejuvenated the game of the Czech, but it will be interesting to see how her game holds up against tennis’ great power play and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.
Williams is playing perhaps the best level of her comeback and the American really becomes a much more dangerous proposition once she has settled into the tournament and finds her peak level in the tougher rounds of the biggest events and I think she will be able to gain control of the early stages of the rally often enough to see Pliskova off in straight sets. The Czech will momentarily match what Williams offers on the serve, but I think Serena will have more faith in that shot in difficult circumstances when the match gets even tighter.
Prediction: Serena Williams in straight sets.
POLL: Who will win the US Open 2018 Women’s Singles Title?
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Juan Martin Del Potro  vs John Isner  H2H: Del Potro leads 6-4
In a battle of the big-serves and the giants of the tennis world, Juan Martin Del Potro will look to return to the US Open semi-finals in back-to-back years as he attempts to take down America’s No.1 John Isner in another quarter-final match-up.
This is going to be a match that gets decided by a few big points here and there. Both are capable of winning big matches through the power and reliability of their serve alone, but I think that the Argentine has the greater dependability on the return of serve to cause more problems for Isner and he has the beating of Isner when it comes to being most effective off the ground.
Isner can create havoc with the combination of his serve and forehand, but the backhand side is a side that can take a bit of a hammering at times and I think that Del Potro will regularly exploit that weakness.
Prediction: Del Potro in straight sets
POLL: Who will win the US Open 2018 Men’s Singles Title?
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