It may be bad news for Nadal and Gonzalez but it means we can enjoy the end of their match on Friday, as well as the women's semi-finals between Serena Williams
and Kim Clijsters
(from 1730 BST
), and Caroline Wozniacki
and Yanina Wickmayer.
We also have British hopefuls Laura Robson
and Heather Watson
in the girls' quarter-finals from 1600 BST.
Just don't look
at the weather forecast...
To coin a phrase, I do not believe it. There are still several thousand fans bravely Mexican Waving on Arthur Ashe Stadium and the odd bit of mopping up going on as the clock ticks past midnight in New York. We have a decision coming over the PA... "Unfortunately......" That's your lot, what a shocker for everyone, not least Rafa and Gonzo.
Clearly it's not looking good but still waiting for official confirmation that we're done for the day/night, and that either Rafa or Gonzo will have to play for three days in a row if they want to win the title. In the meantime, I have been
charting the day through the medium of still photography
for anyone really struggling to nod off...
"Go ahead and have your last tea bag and i'll get you a (*inserts internationally famous brand of coffee vendor) for posting my text on here."From Bob, aka bobby dazzler, cardiff via text
"Hi piers, just polished off another dinner, didn't think i'd be awake this long but i've got money on nadal to win this tie break 7-5 and the match. Wish i hadn't of bothered now, win or lose!"From anon via text
Kim Clijsters on Twitter:
"Back from a team dinner in Nobu, three friends have arrived from Belgium, including my first coach Bart. I'm looking forward to tomorrow! Hope it doesn't rain all day though!!!"
"If they can put a man on the moon surely they can design a line that doesn't react differently to the rest of the court."From Dan, Brighton, via text
"You're not the only one in the uk awake piers. I'm watching the titans and steelers kick off the nfl season. Gonna be a late one!"From Jamie via text
The players have left the court but it's barely raining and it may only be a brief delay.
After another interruption from a plastic bag, fast becoming one of the stars of the tournament, Nadal gets the first break for 2-1 when Gonzo goes for a forehand so massive his arm can't keep up. However, the Spaniard pulls a backhand wide and it's 2-2. A big serve makes it 3-2 as rain begins to fall again (and I ponder if I can make it to 6am with one tea bag remaining). Gonzalez isn't happy with the playing surface and both men take to their seats again. We wait....
Gonzalez holds to 15 after one particularly nice volley and it's another tie-break.
jeremy_fitch on Twitter:
"Maybe US TV asked Gonzo to change tops? They seem to be dictating everything else about this tournament, so why not shirts!?"
In complete contrast to the previous game, Nadal holds to love for 7-6 6-5.
The plastic bag is back.
The blustery wind causes a few laughs at the start of the game when a plastic bag disrupts play, but Gonzo isn't laughing moments later when he misjudges a smash to fall 0-30 behind. His racquet is in real danger when a double-fault takes him to 15-40 and two set points
for Nadal... but Gonzo hangs on with two huge serves down the 'T'. A sliced backhand then floats long and it's set point three
... and after Nadal makes a good return, the plastic bag returns! I need a new graphic. Gonzo takes advantage on the resumption and finds a big serve-big forehand one-two, and takes the game with a couple more thunderous forehands. Nadal still leads 7-6 5-5.
Another love hold for Nadal, taking it with an ace to the Gonzo backhand side, and Rafa leads 7-6 5-4.
Big game coming up for Fernando.
"Soo nervous siting im my living room with. Come on rafa! Vamos Nadal!!"Jibby from peterborough via text
Heavy stuff. Gonzalez muscles a of monumental forehand and an ace but Nadal takes it to deuce before his second dodgy forehand volley of the game gives to to Gonzo.
A breathtaking backhand cross-court winner gets Gonzo off on the right footing, but at 30-30 Nadal comes up with two big serves to move 7-6 4-3
Gonzalez hits back with a love hold to trail 7-6 3-3.
And I wouldn't put anything past Nadal, Amaan.
"Hi Piers, glad the game is back on. But im wondering do you think nadal has a realistic chance of beating JMDP, even if nadal somehow manages to conquer the big serving Chilean today?"Amaan from Cardiff via text
Nadal holds to 15 and leads 7-6 3-2
. Gonzo has changed from a black to a white t-shirt. Mind games?
Look out! I see tennis players. Nadal and Gonzalez are back out on Arthur Ashe Stadium and knocking up gingerly as the rain has abated. It's getting on for 10pm and a bit parky in New York, but it still merits a sun graphic.
If Nadal and Gonzalez ever get to finish, the winner will face Juan Martin del Potro
in the semis. The sizeable Argentine will be playing in his second Grand Slam semi after losing to Roger Federer in five sets at Roland Garros earlier this year. "I was so sad after that semi-final," says JMDP. "Well, I learn many things. I was so close to beating him, and it was my first semis. Now I have another opportunity to play another semi. I'm very, very focusing on my things, very relaxing."
"Turns out that there is a bright side to being made redundant,I can stay up late and follow the tennis without worrying about sleep deprivation. Vamos Nadal!!"From anon via text
captainbluebear on Twitter:
"As soon as I tuned into this match play got suspended. I blame the weather, but I could tune out again... see if that helps?"
So it continues to rain and the court is now getting properly wet as there is no cover. Why doesn't someone invest in a big bit of tarpaulin? My predictions at the start were Federer and Serena, with Del Potro and Pennetta as outsiders. Brave, I know.
"Apologies for earlier piers, i blame my computer for the error! As were getting near the end, just wanted to know your predictions for both winners?"From dan, ponty, via text
"Hope this stomach injury doesnt ruin nadal's march for the title. Lets go rafa, lets go!"From a bored Stuart waiting on the match to continue!
It's gently raining again - tedious, especially for those of you who have to get up in a few hours' time. I would definitely recommend staying up though, even if you do have a job interview. Staying up late is cool.
sssssarah on Twitter:
"Re Robson's tweet - it's a sponsor's event in NYC... fashion, and a three mile run. Or something..."
Good news! The rain has stopped and the increasingly archaic-looking method of drying out the courts at Flushing Meadows is under way - basically some ball kids with towels and a few giant hairdryers.
"On last nights theme, there is something in the air tonight Fernando (namely rain...). Rafa and Gonzo stood under their Umbrella(s) awaiting Mr Blue Sky or at least a Starry Starry Night. Why Does it Always Rain in tennis? At some point The Winner will Take it All. See what pain delays make me do?"From Matt, Blackburn, via text
"What a shame, let's hope they finish tonight."From Rick via text
"Looks like i'll be up for a while longer yet."From Luke via text
Fair play to both players, they sit very quietly while everyone stands around looking at the sky for a few minutes but the referee then takes them off. It's not exactly chucking it down so hopefully this is just a good opportunity to refuel. I'll keep you posted. And the PA plays Rihanna's Umbrella
The umpire says we will wait for a moment and see what happens, meanwhile umbrellas go up everywhere and Rafa begins packing like he's late for a flight.
Any idea what Laura is on about? She is 15. Gonzalez holds easily enough to trail 7-6 2-2.
And it's started raining.. noooooo!
Nadal holds to love again and, apart from game 12, he has been untroubled in that department so far. He leads 7-6 2-1.
More often? OK, I've just put the kettle on and am contemplating a comfort break. Meanwhile, Nadal is still happy enough at the baseline and gets to 0-30 but Gonzalez gathers himself and arrows a forehand winner on his way back to deuce. A straightforward volley and a Nadal error give Gonzo the game and he trails 7-6 1-1.
"Boo lucky rafa go go go gonzo. Thx 4 live text but please update more often."From Rick, Harringey, via text
Well, we get a few grimaces from Rafa during his three-minute medical examination and the abdominal problem clearly hasn't gone away. A couple of Gonzo errors are probably not want the Chilean wants right now and Nadal holds for 7-6 1-0.
Nadal has the trainer on at the changeover and we're going to have a medical timeout to attend to his abdominal injury - fingers crossed it's just precautionary as he's playing superbly. Gonzo has his legs casually crossed and is munching on a banana.
Oh no, Fernando. Rafa makes a surprising forehand error to bring the Chilean back on serve at 4-3 down but the man from Santiago immediately bunts one long himself. Nadal then nets a return for 5-4 but has two serves for the set. He plays a neat drop volley that Gonzo cannot quite get back and it's two set points
for Nadal... and Gonzo drags a forehand wide on the first to give Nadal the set 7-6 (7-4)
. That could be a tough one for Gonzo to recover from.
Nadal breaks on the first point and two swinging serves take him to 3-0, and prompt a little racquet tap from Gonzo, who then hooks a forehand long. The Chilean gets off the mark with a first serve and Nadal leaks a backhand wide to change around at 4-2
in the tie-break.
A raking Fernando forehand gets the 11th seed off to a good start and an improvised forehand takes him to 30-30 for the first time tonight. Big point, and you know Rafa won't make an error so something special is required, and Gonzo is just the man... a huge backhand winner gives him set point
.... but he then misses with a second-serve return. Gonzalez has Nadal on the run again and earns a second set point
... Nadal saves with a sweet off-forehand into the corner and goes on to hold for 6-6
- tie-break time.
padawanbeck84 on Twitter:
"Like Luke, I should be fast asleep now, but I'm determined to follow Rafa's match from start to finish!"
"This is shaping up to be a cracker. Nadals retrieval skills, combined with nandos ferocious groundstrokes mean we are in for five close sets i hope."From Milla, west mids, via text
soph_tennis on Twitter:
"The night of the heavy hitters hey? Those two could kill a man at 20 paces. Off to sleep; what kind of tennis blogger am I? :p"
Just as I get a lovely text about the "technological miracle of the live text commentary" (thanks Michele), the system crashes. In the meantime, we get two more impressive service games and Gonzo leads 6-5.
Absolutely magnificent stuff from Nadal as he loops an incredible forehand right into the corner, follows it in and snaps away a backhand smash for 30-30. Well played Gonzo for coming through with the help of an ace, and he leads 5-4.
Chris? You need to manually refresh, my friend, Bevan is halfway home. Fortunately the rain is holding off but it's pretty windy out there. Gonzo finally gets a point on the Nadal serve but the Spaniard comes back with four in a row for 4-4.
And as I'm now fully nocturnal, I've just had some paella but can't work out if it's my lunch or supper. Either way, it was muy bien.
"Hi chris just got in from the pub, ready for a bit of late night tennis! any sign of the rain?"From dan, pontypridd! via text
"Piers whats for snack tonight? I just had a lovely re-heated carnobara and some crisps. Nadal to win!"Tiago, Farnborough, via text
A great point at 30-15 as Gonzo gets a huge net cord that Nadal does brilliantly to collect and return as a lob, only for the Chilean to stretch for a backhand smash and move 4-3
clear moments later.
Nadal holds to love for the third time and looks very solid, making one sharp move to the net and punching away a forehand volley. It's 3-3.
If you wish to keep me company, send a text to 81111
or a message to
OK, now we're cooking. Gonzo opens up with a beautiful backhand winner down the line, and Nadal responds by returning a huge forehand with interest, smacking a cross-court backhand past the Chilean. Gonzalez serves his way though for 3-2.
Uncle Toni and agent Carlos Costa look absolutely freezing in the stands as they watch their man Nadal hold to love for 2-2.
I hope Gonzalez has been keeping up with his jogging because he must have done about 5K already as Nadal gets him pounding from side to side along the baseline. A fierce forehand takes Nadal to deuce but Gonzo holds him off to lead 2-1.
And if you haven't already, please manually refresh to find out who to blame for all of this.
The windy conditions do nothing to disrupt the Nadal forehand and he bludgeons his way to 1-1.
Amid much manly grunting and many thumping forehands, Gonzo holds to lead 1-0.
The prompt start has clearly caught out the fans and there are hardly any in to see the start of this one.
"I'm absolutely exhausted but my love for rafa is keeping me awake. I'm so jealous of the fan who got to kiss him!"From luke via text
Rafa and Gonzo have met nine times, with the Spaniard winning six of them and Fernando's three wins coming in their first four meetings. However, Nadal has been battling knee and, more recently, abdominal injuries, while Gonzo looked in tremendous form against Tsonga last time out. My money's still on Nadal. Gonzalez to serve...
Evening all, no messing around tonight as Rafael Nadal
and Fernando Gonzalez
are already knocking up on a chilly Arthur Ashe Stadium ahead of the last of the men's quarter-finals. The threat of bad weather has made USTA officials get a shift on, and apparently even a speech by Bill Clinton has been given the boot. Gutted.
But there is plenty more happening before that - or, at least one thing which is very exciting. Yep, Rafael Nadal against Fernando Gonzalez
is just a few minutes away... Piers will be with you to take you through that one. Thanks for your company and enjoy, it should be a cracker.
Also on Friday
, after the two women's singles semi-finals on Arthur Ashe Stadium, comes the men's doubles final between Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes
and Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles
. And on Court 18, Britain's Peter Norfolk
has another round-robin match in the quad singles, against Nick Taylor.
British tennis fans might want to keep an eye out for news of Court Eight from around 1600 BST. Laura Robson
is first up, against Lauren Davis of the US in her quarter-final, followed by Heather Watson
against Noppawan Lertcheewakarn. Laura and Heather could potentially meet in the final, which would be very nice, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
The schedule is out for Friday
- and Kim Clijsters v Serena Williams will be the first women's semi-final on Arthur Ashe, starting at 1730 BST.
Yanina Wickmayer v Caroline Wozniacki will follow that match. Who is going for an all-Belgian final then?
Cilic made 53 unforced errors
, most of them in the final two-and-a-half sets - they didn't help him much did they? Still, he has reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final and is also still only 20, so let's not be too hard on him. But we saw what the end result is when a player has one big shot that stops working, which is what happened to the Croat's forehand after the first set.
So, we now know all but one of the men's semi-finalists. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro... and either Rafael Nadal or Fernando Gonzalez. Will Nadal's fitness hold up? Will Gonzo match his power with consistency...? He will need to.
From JD, via text on 81111:
"I can't help feeling Andy Murray would have hoped Cilic had played the way he played tonight against him - then he might have won."
Very impressive in the end by Del Potro but you have to say that Cilic didn't put up much of a fight. A shame, as I was expecting more from that match. Still, we've got Nadal v Gonzo
to look forward to next... they will be on court at 0000 BST.
Yep, there was no way back from there. Cilic didn't fold completely but he lost 17 of the last 20 games and that tells its own story. At 30-all, he is still fighting but his forehand is again his downfall and hands Juan Martin Del Potro
the next two points, and with them a 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-1 victory. He is into his first US Open semi-final, where he will face Rafael Nadal or Fernando Gonzalez.
2315: JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO BEATS MARIN CILIC 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-1 TO REACH THE US OPEN SEMI-FINALS
At least Cilic avoids the bagel - and he has Hawkeye to thank for it. At 30-all, it looks like Del Potro has brought up a match-point with an ace. Hawkeye thinks otherwise and Cilic, with the shackles now off his game, goes on the attack to hit back with a surprise break. A huge ask for him to go on to rescue this match from here though...Del Potro leads 4-6 6-3 6-2 5-1
2307: Jonathan Overend on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra:
"This has been a very poor display by Cilic after promising so much earlier on in the match. Del Potro has handled himself an awful lot better."
Oh dear. This fourth set is turning into a complete disaster for Cilic. At deuce he falls well short with a drop-shot attempt and things get worse on break-point when he fires a forehand well wide. Del Potro to serve for the match next.Del Potro leads 4-6 6-3 6-2 5-0
Erm, a few of you on 606
seem to think a bagel is on its way. You might be right. Del Potro's serve has been solid as a rock since the start of the second set, and nothing changes here. He's only hit five aces all match but is completely in control here, moving forward to put away a volley that puts him 4-0 up
. He is two games away from a place in the semi-finals.
Ah, that could be curtains for Cilic, who has been broken again and trails 3-0
. Del Potro did it in style too, lobbing the 6ft 6in Croatian at 15-40 from the middle of the court - quite a feat to get it up and over, then back in. Absolute genius, in fact.
From Craig in Stirling, via text on 81111:
"What we need to keep this match is some Cilic Bang. Oh dear, I'm so sorry, I apologise profusely."
Remember all those thumping inside-out forehand winners that Cilic hit against Murray a couple of days ago? They aren't happening for the Croatian tonight, despite his repeated attempts. Del Potro holds, with ease, to love and leads 2-0 in the fourth set.
2251: Jeff Tarango on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra:
"Marin Cilic desperately needs to find some of the intensity he showed against Andy Murray here if he is going to turn this one round. He just looks out of energy and ideas at the moment."
Hands up those of you who think Del Potro is a bit one-dimensional and too reliant on his power? Well, there's a bit more too him than that you know. He plays a beautiful drop-shot winner when advantage down and, when Cilic goes wide with his next two shots, the Argentine has another break to lead 1-0 at the start of the fourth set.
2242: David Law on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra:
"The wheels have completely come off for Cilic and I'm not sure why. Maybe he just started thinking about where he was, and the possibility of facing Nadal in a semi-final, too much?"
Cilic just cannot find a way of breaking down the Argentine's serve at the moment and is powerless to stop him wrapping up the third set 6-2. Del Potro trailed by a set and 3-1 but he is now 4-6 6-3 6-2 ahead.
2240: Jeff Tarango on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra:
"Del Potro wants to keep the momentum going and win as many games as he can while Cilic is off balance."
Better from Cilic, who bangs down some decent serves and holds with a crisp volley. But you get the feeling Del Potro wasn't particularly bothered about trying to break again there. He still leads 5-2 and will serve for the third set next.
Maybe this one isn't over just yet? A couple of sloppy shots by JMDP give Cilic a sniff at 30-40 but his forehand is still all over the place and he sees his return fly a mile long after attacking the next serve. Chance gone, and a couple more thumping deliveries help the sixth seed move 5-1
up in the third set.
Cilic is in big trouble in this third set now. Just when he looks on course for a routine hold, his forehand lets him down again at 40-30 and even Hawkeye can't help him out. The Croat fires a backhand long on break-point and is now a double-break down. Del Potro leads 4-1.
It's Del Potro's turn to have a bit of a wobble, looking tentative after letting 40-0 slip to 40-30 when Cilic hits a rare backhand winner. The Argentine holds firm, however, and is in at the net to put away a volley to move 3-1
From PrattsBottom on 606:
"Looks like Del P has figured out Cilic's backhand is not much cop. Hitting a lot of inside-out forehands at it. But is Del P fit enough to continue to execute?"
Cilic has not stopped serving well, even when he couldn't win a game for toffee - it was just his groundstrokes that went out of the window. He keeps serving well here too, and backs it up with his best couple of forehands for a while to hold and reduce Del Potro's lead to 2-1.
Make that seven games in a row for Del Potro, who is full of beans and constantly on the attack. Cilic can do nothing right at the moment - JMDP leads 2-0 in the third set.
From woody75 on 606:
"Great game this, was very similar to Cilic v Murray but Del Potro is now firing some shots of his own and Cilic looks a little down on confidence suddenly, from the resulting onslaught."
An incredible point at 30-all, with Del Potro hitting the net-cord twice in the same rally - once from a smash - and celebrating like he has won the whole tournament when Cilic puts a volley into the net. On the other side of the net, the Croatian looks shattered and he bounces the ball on to his own foot as he prepares to serve for the next point, then follows that by putting a backhand into the net. Del Potro breaks to lead 1-0 in the third set and has now won six games in a row.
2208: David Law on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra:
"Del Potro knows the momentum is with him now. Cilic has to find his game again and sustain it because the only thing holding him together at the moment is his serve."
Cilic starts by thrashing wildly at everything from the back of the court and getting the results you might expect. When he settles down, after taking practice swings on his forehand between points, he manages to save two set-points and gets a break-back point of his own. It's a big improvement on his recent form but it doesn't last and two mistakes on his backhand see him lose the initiative again. Del Potro hits back to take the set 6-3 and level the match at one-set all.
Erm, no. JMDP's forehand is now doing all the damage - Cilic is on the backfoot and is in danger of being overpowered here, and the only thing he seems able to do in response is to make more mistakes. At 15-40, the Croatian sees a forehand fly long and Del Potro breaks to take his fourth game in a row and a 5-3 lead.
Suddenly Del Potro looks a different player and, unfortunately for the 16th seed, so does Cilic. More mistakes from that forehand see the Argentine hold to lead 4-3
and this match could be about to turn on its head. Can Cilic stop the rot?
Hmmm, we've been waiting a long time for Del Potro to get a break-point... but, finally, he has one - after Cilic's forehand falls apart. Completely. Del Potro takes his chance too, after another mistake by the Croatian on that flank sees a routine shot fly wide. Not sure why his game has disintegrated butDel Potro won't care - he breaks to level the second set at 3-3.
More problems for JMDP, who nets a backhand to go 0-30 down, and Cilic is unlucky to see a big forehand land a whisker out on the next point with the Argentine beaten. Del Potro needs to show some fight here, and does exactly that, taking the game by the scruff of the neck with some thumping forehands and wrapping it up by crashing a serve down the middle to hold. Cilic still leads 3-2 in the second set.
2140: David Law on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra:
"I think Del Potro is a little bit shell-shocked by Cilic's performance at the moment. At the moment he is being comprehensively outplayed."
That big serve-big forehand-big smash combo is serving Cilic extremely well. Del Potro's backhand, in contrast, is still his worst enemy - he is not getting remotely close to breaking back. Cilic leads 3-1.
Cilic is still going for everything, even on the Del Potro serve. It doesn't always work - particularly on his backhand - but he still gives JMDP something to think about before he holds. Cilic leads by a set and is still a break up at 2-
From tennisbynumbers on 606:
"Cilic is playing well, in particular the big points. He's always been talented but I've seen him stay tough during crucial times of his matches, impressive so far!"
An easy hold for Cilic, to love, and he is well on top right now. The crowd are making some noise to try to get Del Potro going here. well, either that or they are just trying to keep themselves warm.
2130: David Law on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra:
"The skies are overcast and it is cold too. People are huddled together on Arthur Ashe Stadium and some of them are under blankets."
Crikey. Not the start JMDP needed in the second set, as he goes toe-to-toe with Cilic from the back of the court but makes a costly series of mistakes to go 15-40 down. Another double-fault, his second of the game follows swiftly afterwards, and he gifts that game to Cilic who breaks to go 1-0
2125: Jeff Tarango on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra:
"Both players showed a few nerves in the first set but Cilic was able to overcome his. He came up with a magical shot to break earlier in that set and was able to hold on."
Oooh, a bit of a wobble from Cilic, who makes a rare forehand error to go 15-30 down. No problem - he hits a cracking inside-out forehand and a big serve down the middle to move to set-point. Then comes the rally of the match, with a net-cord and inch-perfect lob from Del Potro, followed by a rasping winner to take us back to deuce. There is no stopping Cilic's big serve though and he is soon on the attack again, wrapping up the set with a beautiful drive volley (my favourite shot) that JMDP reaches but sends his return a mile long. The first set is in the bag for Cilic, who takes it 6-4.
Good news for Britain's Heather Watson
, who made a bit of a meal of her match with Annika Beck but has just won 6-4 7-5 after leading 5-0 and 5-1 in each set. Watson, seeded 11th, plays second seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn in the last eight.
Cilic is working the court better too, moving in when he can and sending the big Argentine scrambling around the court. Del Potro holds, but Cilic will serve for the first set at 6-5 next.
Cilic still on a crest of a wave, though, despite JMDP's best efforts. his serve and forehand remain a formidable combination and are enough to see him hold to lead 5-3. Meanwhile, Heather Watson
seems to have stopped the rot, she is 6-5 up in the second set of her match and Beck is serving to stay in the match.
From messiisgod on 606:
"I think Cilic and JMDP are roughly level talent-wise, though JMDP's intensity is usually better. Interesting match."
Del Potro's groundstrokes are not quite in gear but he is serving well enough now, straight into Cilic's body and not giving him a chance to wheel out that forehand. He holds, Cilic remains a break up at 4-3.
The Cilic forehand seems to be on song so far, and it is JMDP who is making all the mistakes. The Croat holds to lead 4-2
. Over on Court Eight, Heather Watson is struggling to finish off Annika Beck - she led by a set and 5-1 but the German has fought back to 5-4 and is back on serve.
Cilic's turn to have a sniff on the Del Potro serve, and the Argentine is in big trouble at 0-40 after he nets an easy put-away from mid-court. A couple of big serves put JMDP back on track but then comes the shot of the match so far from Cilic who, deep behind the baseline, snaps in a crosscourt passing shot winner. Brilliant stuff, and Cilic breaks to lead 3-2
Well, it took 13 points but we've finally seen a point dropped on serve, with one of those huge Cilic forehands straying wide. He follows that with another mistake off the same flank to go 0-30 and into a spot of bother. Not for long - a dinked volley and two massive serves put him back on track and he holds thanks to an over-ambitious JMDP backhand. We're level at 2-2
. If you're near a radio, you can listen to Alastair Eykyn and Jeff Tarango's commentary of this match, on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra, right now. It's not available online though, sorry.
Er, we still haven't had a point against serve. We have had a couple of rallies, but not much else to talk about. JMDP
: Ha! Cilic replies in kind - four big serves and a couple of thumping crosscourt forehand winners to follow them up for good measure. He holds to love too.
Hmmm. There certainly seems to be a bit of a breeze out on Arthur Ashe. It hasn't affected JMDP here, though, and he holds to love without any problems.
Del Potro has got his bumble-bee outfit on today - Black shirt and shorts with yellow head and wristbands. He's first to serve and we are under way.
2039: Marin Cilic on his hopes of beating Juan Martin Del Potro:
"I think I definitely have a chance. If I take positive things from my match with Andy Murray, I can put it in my next match and, of course, take advantage. Del Potro can play really well but I think I also have a game that can hurt him."
2038: Juan Martin Del Potro on playing Marin Cilic at this stage of the US Open instead of Andy Murray:
"Well, Cilic has everything you need to be a good player - he is complete. But Murray is the number two in the world, and winning everywhere. So, maybe everybody is surprised but Cilic has very good weapons."
Del Potro and Cilic are out on court on Arthur Ashe Stadium and warming up. No rain out there, but it's pretty blustery (I haven't got any sort of wind graphic) which could make things a tad tricky. On Court Eight, it's with serve between Annika Beck and Heather Watson in the second set of their girls' match.
2036: Rafael Nadal on his quarter-final opponent Fernando Gonzalez:
"He played unbelievable all match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (in round four). Very good tennis, unbelievable forehands, so I know him very well. "He knows me very well. I have to play aggressive. If he gets control of the point with his forehand, it's almost impossible beat him. So I have to play aggressive, and make him uncomfortable in every shot."
2033: Fernando Gonzalez on playing Rafael Nadal:
"Rafa has much more experience in this kind of tournaments, but I have a lot of confidence. I mean, I have to be worrying about myself only. I will try to play my best tennis, and that's it."
Rafa v Gonzo should be a cracker too (from 0000 BST) of course. A special prize to whoever can tell me who Gonzo lost to the last time he reached the last eight of the US Open, in 2002. Any ideas? Too late, it was Sjeng Schalken, the flying (lanky) Dutchman with a huge (not to mention strange) serve.
Del Potro has dropped only one set in his four matches so far, against Daniel Koellerer in round three. Cilic's progress has been almost as impressive, dropping just two - both in his second-round match against Jesse Levine. Mind you, Cilic did also win two sets 6-0 in that one so not sure what happened the rest of the time.
No rain in New York yet, let's hope it stays that way...
From CorazonLatino on 606:
"I intend to stay up into the early hours to follow Rafa's progress. Although if the rain delays are particularly long, the schedule will be seriously messed up."
JMDP is five days older than Cilic by the way - both turn 21 later this month, with the Argentine first to blow out his candles on 23 September. They've only met once before, at this year's Australian Open when Del Potro won in four sets in the fourth round.
Good news for Heather Watson
fans. She held off that Annika Beck fightback to take the first set 6-4
Very much looking forward to both men's matches tonight. Del Potro and Cilic are the rising stars of the men's game, although JMDP is slightly ahead of the Croatian at the moment - he's seeded sixth and in his second successive US Open quarter-final, and reached the semis in Paris this year. Cilic? He's the 16th seed and in the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time.
More Brit news - Laura Robson
is into the quarter-finals of the girls' singles after thumping 12th seed Tamaryn Hendler 6-2 6-1. She will face Lauren Davis of the US or Romania's Elena Bogdan next. Fellow Brit, 11th seed Heather Watson
, is in action now, against Germany's Annika Beck. Watson went 5-0 up in the first set but has been pegged back to 5-4, so work to do there.
So, JMDP and Cilic will be on court in a matter of minutes - about 2035 BST
That's the mixed doubles title in the bag for Carly Gullickson
and Travis Parrott
and something for the home fans to celebrate too. The unseeded American pair have just beaten Cara Black and Leander Paes 6-2 6-4 in the final.
While we wait, I can bring some news of British success today, with Peter Norfolk
winning his opening round-robin match in the quad singles. Norfolk, the 2007 US Open winner, beat Sweden's Johan Andersson 6-4 6-0.
Not sure how long this mixed doubles match will be - Carly Gullickson and the brilliantly named Travis Parrott have just seen a championship-point come and go against second seed Cara Black and Leander Paes. They still lead 6-2 5-3, so hopefully will be done and dusted sharpish.
Lets hope the weather does hold, though, as we've got a couple of very tasty men's quarter-final ties scheduled tonight. First up (when the mixed doubles final is finished) is the battle of the 6ft 6in 20-year-olds, Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Murray's conqueror Marin Cilic. Then comes a fight between two fantastic forehands - Rafael Nadal and Fernando Gonzalez. That one is under the floodlights from 0000 BST.
Er, bad news folks. It's not actually raining at Flushing Meadows yet but the forecast is for heavy storms in New York today - and those Americans haven't got round to building a roof yet...