Nadal will face 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro next, with the 2009 champion having outslugged John Isner 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-6 (4-7), 6-2 to reach the last four. A year on and she is locked in to 12 US Open semi-final after she coasted past 2016 finalist Karolina Pliskova.
Yet one megastar remains at the US Open: Serena Williams, looming like Gulliver over the Lilliputians.
The key for Williams, really, was something of a new wrinkle: moving forward as much as possible.
She will play 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova, who had earlier beaten the defending champion Sloane Stephens for a place in the final.
Williams, seeded 17th, will play 14th-seeded Madison Keys or No. 20 Naomi Osaka on Saturday. At her second major back, Wimbledon, she was the runner-up.
Serena Williams is walking down the tunnel now and stops for her pre-match interview with ESPN's Tom Rinaldi.
Serena Williams of the US reacts after winning a game in the second set against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in a quarterfinal match on day nine of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.More news: Melania Trump Slams 'Cowardly' Trump Administration Official's New York Times Op-Ed
Williams managed to race into a 4-0 lead with all momentum now shifted onto the American who was looking to close this match out quickly.
The Us Open 2018 is being streamed by Amazon Prime in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
After going down 1-3 in the first set, Williams turned the match around for a 6-4, 6-3 win.
It was the 11th consecutive win in a Grand Slam match for the pair that has become known as "Team Brock". It is the first time he won a match after that kind of start.
As one American star lost in the main draw Tuesday, another of the country's rising stars was on display at the U.S. Open.
After defeating Karolina Pliskova, Williams will now meet 19th-seeded Sevastova in the semifinals.
Both matches featured extenuating circumstances.More news: Meghan Markle dazzles in indigo dress at 100 Days of Peace concert
The seventh-seeded tandem from Poland and Brazil beat Radu Albot and Malek Jaziri 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3 to move into the final of the U.S. Open. And Sevastova's penchant for drop shots did not pay off: She lost three points in the first set alone with miscues that landed on the wrong side of the net.
Even Williams, from the moment she returned, has downplayed her expectations and assessed each win as little more than a surprise bonus step on a long road to returning to "Serena" form.
Hot and humid weather continues to cause problems at the U.S. Open.
Before Tuesday, Sevastova had made it to three straight US Open quarterfinals but never further.
The 36-year old, American, is seeking her first Grand Slam trophy since giving birth to daughter Olympia last September.
"I really feel like right now I'm playing free because I was having a baby this time past year, so I have nothing to prove", said Williams, who is seeking her first major title since her daughter Olympia was born on September 1 of 2017.
If she wins it would be her 24th major title - equalling Australian Margaret Court's all-time record.More news: Delta Fire Maps: Location, Evacuations, & Updates