NEW YORK (AP) – Kevin Anderson won’t get a second shot at Rafael Nadal in the U.S. Open.
The 2017 runner-up was beaten by Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (2) on Sunday in a fourth-round match.
Anderson was hoping to earn a rematch with Nadal, who beat him last year in the South African’s first Grand Slam final. Instead, it will be the ninth-seeded Thiem who could face Nadal in the quarterfinals.
The top-ranked Nadal was playing Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in the round of 16.
Anderson’s run to last year’s final was a surprise, as at No. 32 he was the lowest-ranked U.S. Open finalist in the history of the ATP rankings. But he backed that up with a strong season, reaching the Wimbledon final and earning the No. 5 seed in this tournament.
He had won six of seven meetings against Thiem, including all six on hard courts. Thiem’s only victory had come on clay, his best surface.
But Anderson couldn’t get anything going in this matchup with Thiem, who lost to Nadal in the French Open final and has now reached his first U.S. Open quarterfinal.
“It’s a dream coming true,” the Austrian said.
He was agonizingly close to getting there last year, leading by two sets against Juan Martin del Potro in the round of 16 before the 2009 champion roared back to win.
Serena Williams was in action later Sunday after routing her sister on Friday in what she felt was her best match since her return to tennis.
She’ll need to be sharp again, with Kaia Kanepi looking to knock out another women’s star.
Serena, seeded 17th, routed Venus 6-1, 6-2 in matching the most-lopsided victory in the Williams sisters’ series. That put her into the match against Kanepi, the 44th-ranked Estonian who upset top-ranked Simona Halep in the first round and is seeking her second consecutive quarterfinal in Flushing Meadows.
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