Rafael Nadal -01- (ESP) def Nikoloz Basilashvili -37- (GEO) | 63 63 67(6) 64
Nikoloz Basilashvili routinely delivers mind-blowing eye-candy for the true tennis fan and recreational player. His ground-strokes blister. But if you want to invest like Nikoloz plays, you’ll need to pile all of your retirement funds into extremely high-risk portfolios.
“Playing it safe” are three words you’ll never hear when Basilashvili takes the court. His dial has one setting, and it’s well past “11.” Reminiscent of the younger James Blake, he goes for broke – even when tactically, it makes more sense to extend the point and move the opponent further off the court before pulling the trigger.
He’ll rip ridiculous winners against the sport’s best – as he did against Nadal on Sunday afternoon.
But with high-risk play, “misses” often exceed “successes” – as he also proved against Nadal on Sunday afternoon.
Basilashvili nearly doubled Nadal’s winner count, earning 56 to Rafa’s 29. Yet he tripled the defending champ’s unforced-error count, with 59 to Nadal’s 19. Nikoloz executed some brilliant shot-making at key moments (see set-3’s tiebreak below), but the errors and extended rallies against one of the best-conditioned athletes in the sport cost him the match.
NEXT:  Rafael Nadal -01- (ESP) vs  Dominic Thiem -09- (AUT)
R4: def Nikoloz Basilashvili -37- (GEO) 63 63 67(6) 64 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R3: def  Karen Khachanov -26- (RUS) 57 75 76(7) 76(3) | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R2: def Vasek Pospisil -88- (CAN) 63 64 62 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R1: def David Ferrer -148- (ESP) 63 64 RET | Arthur Ashe Stadium
 Rafael Nadal -01- (ESP)
He is the defending US Open Champion…and one of the greatest to ever play the game. This Spring at Roland Garros, he earned an unprecedented 11th French Open title – which Combined with 2 Wimbledon victories, an Australian Open win, and 3 titles here in Flushing, make him a 17-time Grand Slam Champion. A 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist and 4-time Davis Cup Champion, with his US Open Series victory in Toronto, he now owns a remarkable 80 career tour-level Singles titles – And it was here, 8-years-ago, at just 24-years-old, he became the youngest man in the Open Era to earn the career Grand Slam. From Mallorca, Spain – Please welcome 3-time US Open Champion and the #1 Player in the World…Rafael Nadal.
Nikoloz Basilashvili -37- (GEO)
At 26-years-old, he is competing in the Round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time. Just 5-weeks-ago, he won his first Tour-level Final in Hamburg, becoming the first player from the country of Georgia to win an ATP World Tour Singles title; and with the victory, climbed to a career-high ranking of World #35. He’s reached the 3rd-Round of all four Majors, is a 3-time Finalist on Tour, owns two victories over top-10 opponents, and earlier this week – defeated World #18 Jack Sock en-route to tonight’s 4th-Round match. From Tbilisi, Georgia, please welcome…Nikoloz Basilashvili.