Juan Martin del Potro was aching for a second crack at a Grand Slam semifinal, a second chance to prove he has what it takes to win at that stage.
By early Thursday evening, he knew he'd get that opportunity at the U.S. Open, thanks to a wind-swept 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 quarterfinal victory over 16th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia.
What the sixth-seeded del Potro still did not know several hours later, as rain washed over Flushing Meadows: The opponent he will have to beat to reach his first Grand Slam final.
That's because the quarterfinal between six-time major champion Rafael Nadal and 2007 Australian Open runner-up Fernando Gonzalez was interrupted by showers.
The first delay, of about 75 minutes, came at 2-2 in the second set, after Nadal won the opening set in a tiebreaker. The second delay came while Nadal led 3-2 in the second-set tiebreaker.
As of 11 p.m., rain was still falling, and Nadal and Gonzalez were still in the locker room.
And del Potro was still waiting.
The breaks might have been most helpful to Nadal, who called for a trainer after the first set. It appeared Nadal was being checked for a flare-up of a stomach muscle problem that bothered him earlier in the tournament.
Earlier in the day, del Potro did a much better job than Cilic of dealing with the conditions, which included swirling winds that reached 20 mph.