Rafael Nadal is on the hunt for his 19th Grand Slam title and insists he took “a step forward” after progressing to the US Open semi-finals by beating Diego Schwartzman.
Nadal was a 6-4 7-5 6-2 winner and will now face Italian star Matteo Berrettini in the last four.
Nadal beat Schwartzman in just under three hours with the Spaniard having to call for the trainer at one point.
With his win, the Spaniard moves one step closer to another Major triumph.
The 33-year-old is currently two Grand Slam titles behind Roger Federer, who has won 20 major trophies.
And Nadal is taking the positives from beating Schwartzman in a tough encounter.
“Today I make a step forward, in my opinion,” Nadal said.
“That match give me confidence. Two matches in a row against two tough opponents.
“That’s a moment to increase a little bit more the level, and I really believe that I can do it.”
Nadal also knows that his semi-final won’t be an easy clash with Berrettini having seen off Gael Monfils in a five-set thriller.
The Spanish legend said: “He’s in semi-finals. Berrettini is having a great year. He’s in semi-finals winning a lot of good matches, so what you can expect in a semi-finals of a Grand Slam match.
“You can’t expect an easy opponent. You can’t expect an easy match.
“I really believe that if you want to win tournaments, you need to go through tough opponents like I had against Marin [Cilic], today against Diego.
“He was playing great the whole event and now another player that is playing great.
“He’s serving huge, big forehands, moving well, and big confidence because he’s having a great year.
“So let’s see. I need to play my best, and I think today I make a step forward, even if I lost my serve, as you said, couple of times.”