Bryan Armen Graham
Thursday September 9th, 2010

Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco

Rafael Nadal (left) and Fernando Verdasco, who face off in Thursday's quarterfinals, have played doubles together for Spain's Davis Cup team. (AP)’s daily menu of must-see happenings at the U.S. Open (all times Eastern).

No. 1 Liezel Huber/Bob Bryan vs. Kveta Peschke/Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Arthur Ashe Stadium, second match): Aisam -- better known as one half of the Indo-Pak Express -- is the first Pakistani to play in any kind of Grand Slam final. It's his first match in two days against Bryan, as they're also scheduled to meet in Friday's men's doubles final (where Qureshi will partner with India's Rohan Bopanna). The 30-year-old is a welcome diversion back home, where the famous national cricket team is embroiled in a spot-fixing scandal.

No. 25 Stan Wawrinka vs. No. 12 Mikhail Youzhny (Arthur Ashe Stadium, not before 2 p.m.): A surprise semifinalist in 2006, Youzhny looks to return to the last four with a win over the second-best Swiss player remaining. He defeated No. 18 John Isner and Tommy Robredo on his way to the quarters, while Wawrinka offed No. 4 Andy Murray and No. 20 Sam Querrey. With a victory, Youzhny can return to the Top 10 for the first time since February 2008. The head-to-head series is tied at two wins apiece, though the Russian holds a 2-0 edge on hardcourts.

No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 8 Fernando Verdasco (Arthur Ashe Stadium, not before 8 p.m.): The first all-Spanish U.S. Open quarterfinal is a rematch of the legendary clash between Nadal and Verdasco in the 2009 Australian Open semifinals, when Nadal outlasted Verdasco in five hours and 14 minutes -- the longest match in Melbourne Park history and the last match on hardcourts between the Davis Cup teammates. (Watch that whole match here.) Form favors Nadal, who is 10-0 lifetime against Verdasco and enters with an 18-match winning streak in Grand Slams. Others to watch: Check out prominent juniors Evan King (Armstrong, first), Jack Sock (Armstrong, second), Andrea Collarini (Court 13, second) and Great Britain's Laura Robson (Court 13, first). Also don't miss Esther Vergeer (Armstrong, third), the top seed in the wheelchair women's singles, who's won 393 consecutive matches dating back to 2003.

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