Rafael Nadal hopes to win his fourth straight U.S. Open match Sunday. Adam Hunger/Associated Press

US Open Tennis 2018: Replay TV Schedule, Live Stream for Sunday's Draw

Steve Silverman

The pretenders have been eliminated from the U.S. Open, as the last Grand Slam tournament of the year moves into the fourth round Sunday.

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal faces Nikoloz Basilashvili, the only unseeded player on the men's side of the draw.

Ninth-seeded Dominic Thiem and fifth-seeded Kevin Anderson meet at 11 a.m. ET at Louis Armstrong Stadium in what should be one of the most competitive matches of the day. Juan Martin del Potro, the No. 3 seed, returns to action at 9 p.m. at Arthur Ashe Stadium against 20th-seeded Borna Coric.

On the women's side, all eyes will be on 17th-seeded Serena Williams, who takes on Kaia Kanepi of Estonia in a 3 p.m. match. Williams is coming off a one-sided victory over older sister Venus Williams, and Serena's confidence and level of play both appear to be sky-high.

                   

Sunday's U.S. Open Matches

Dominic Thiem (9) vs. Kevin Anderson, 11 a.m.

Rafael Nadal (1) vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili, noon

John Isner (11) vs. Milos Raonic (25), 4 p.m.

Juan Martin del Potro (3) vs. Borna Coric (20), 9 p.m.

Ashleigh Barty (18) vs. Karolina Pliskova (8), 2 p.m.

Kaia Kanepi vs. Serena Williams (17), 3 p.m.

Anastasija Sevastova (19) vs. Elina Svitolina (7), 5 p.m.

Sloane Stephens (3) vs. Elise Mertens (15), 7 p.m.

All times ET.

         

ESPN will broadcast third-round matches from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., and ESPN2 will begin its prime-time broadcast at 7 p.m.

The Tennis Channel will replay Sunday's action from 11 p.m. through 8 a.m. Monday. The U.S. Open can be live-streamed at WatchESPN.

               

Nadal had relatively easy victories in his first two matches, but he was pushed hard by Karen Khachanov in the third round before he secured a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-3) victory.

The champion started slowly in that match, and when he was able to hit his stride, Khachanov was able to exchange heavy forehands with Nadal and refused to make life easier for his opponent. Nadal prevailed but only by a small margin.

Basilashvili had to battle through five sets in his first match, and he needed four sets to get by 18th-seeded Jack Sock in the second round and Guido Pella in the third round. The Georgian does not seem likely to give Nadal much of a match, but if he continues to play aggressively, he could take a set from the No. 1 seed.

Williams has rolled to straight-set victories in each of her three matches. Williams defeated Magda Linette 6-4, 6-0 in her first outing, and she followed that with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Carina Witthoeft.

As dominant as those two wins were, she picked up her level of play in her 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Venus. Serena was serving the ball brilliantly in that match, and her return game was also sharp. She has a chance to dominate against Kanepi.

However, top-seeded Simona Halep found out that Kanepi is a serious threat. Halep suffered a 6-2, 6-4 defeat at the hands of the Estonian in the first round. And Kanepi did not lose a set in taking down Jil Teichmann and Rebecca Peterson.

Roger Federer, the No. 2 seed, scored a straight-set 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 victory over Australian Nick Kyrgios on Saturday. Federer had a difficult time in the first and third sets, but he found a way to win the key points in both.

One of those points was a running shot hit past the right post that just made it into the court. The distance Federer covered and the subtlety of the shot sent the crowd into a frenzy.

"Like I explained on court, you don't get an opportunity to hit around the net post very often because in practice, you, I mean, you can't really train them," Federer said, per Matt Wilansky of ESPN.com. "The net is out further, and the court is more narrow, so for a shot like this to happen in a practice, you will be running into a fence, and you will hit it into the net."

On the women's side, No. 22 seed Maria Sharapova advanced to the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Jelena Ostapenko.

Sharapova has a remarkable 23-0 lifetime record under the lights at the U.S. Open. Ostapenko struggled throughout the match with 41 unforced errors.

"I thrive on playing under the lights for some reason," Sharapova said, per ESPN News Services. "I love that. I love that challenge."

The Russian won the 2006 U.S. Open, and a semifinal appearance in 2012 is the closest she has come to winning the tournament since. She will face Carla Suarez Navarro in the fourth round.

   
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