Madison Keys, one of four Americans in the quarterfinals this year, plays Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi, who is back to her best after nearly two years off the courts because of an injury and a virus. "That what's I am doing", Nadal said.
"It's great to see him back on the tour".
This is the sixth time at the U.S. Open that Nadal and Federer have each been one victory away from a matchup of the men who own the most Grand Slam titles.
Swiss Federer, chasing a record-extending 20th grand slam title, takes on Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, the man who beat him in the 2009 final in NY. Federer said he was anxious about his movement in his first-round match against 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe, then had timing issues in his second-rounder against 35-year-old Russian Mikhail Youzhny - and both of those contests went five sets.
Monday is the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. and to celebrate the U.S. Open is hosting its first Military Appreciation Day at Flushing Meadows, which will include discounted tickets for the military and appearances by high-ranking officers, who will conduct the ceremonial coin tosses before matches.
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"I just ran straight to the physio. It's wonderful for our sport really", Federer said. CoCo dropped to her knees and looked upward after match point, saying afterward she was thinking of her family. "Obviously that was good enough to beat me that day".
Del Potro has gone through plenty of health problems since then, including three operations on his left wrist that forced him to miss two years' worth of Grand Slam tournaments until Wimbledon in 2016.
"This match told me how far I am and how much I need to improve, so now is time to try to be better and become stronger", Rublev said.
Federer will be the fresher player in their night matchup, having beaten Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets Monday, while the 24th-seeded del Potro was overcoming illness and a two-set deficit to rally past No 6 seed Dominic Thiem in more than three and a half hours hours.
When a reporter relayed to del Potro that Federer had spoken glowingly about him, del Potro responded: "Well, of course, I admire him, too".