Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

Rafael Nadal outlasts Thiem in 5-set U.S. Open thriller

Rafael Nadal outlasts Thiem in 5-set U.S. Open thriller

Defending champion Rafael Nadal remains on course for a fourth US Open title, but only just, after being taken to a fifth-set tiebreak by Dominic Thiem in a late-night quarter-final at Flushing Meadows. Nadal held serve to win his first game of the match to start the second set and dug deep in a grueling back-and-forth classic to advance to the semifinals, 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7, 7-6.

At 5-5 and 0-40, Thiem saved all three break points and forced the fifth set into a tiebreak, but it was Nadal who came out on top when the Austrian sent a smash long.

The final result was 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6 (4) -7 and 7-6 (5) in 4 hours and 49 minutes, which is the longest match of this edition of the tournament.

World No.1 Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem in a grueling five-set quarterfinal, recovering from a disastrous opening set to clinch the match in dramatic style.

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"When these things happen, normally I am not the guy that looks at the string or looks at the box or looks at the racket", said Nadal, who absorbed a 6-0 loss of the opening set, winning just seven points as Thiem rode roughshod over him in 24 minutes. "But in some way, being honest, I had a very tough injury in 2005". Why? "I think because Basilashvili just relaxed, for the first two sets he is too far from the baseline, he is not doing too much with the ball", Wilander said.

"I would say the first really epic match that I played". "He's a close friend on tour, a great guy and I wish him the very best".

Thiem had Nadal on the ropes, breaking him for 4-3 and then easily closing out his next service game.

"I'm so happy to reach another semi-finals in my favourite tournament", del Potro said in his on-court interview. I think we nearly all the time have great matches. "I mean, it's cruel sometimes tennis, because I think this match didn't really deserve a loser".

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With a heat wave striking NY and temperatures crossing 27 degrees at night, it appeared that Nadal would see off the tie with a four-set victory but Thiem's seemed to have found his mojo once again.

"I like people who try hard to achieve their goals and he is one of them".

"It's good to have now two days that probably give me the chance to be on my 100 per cent in the semi-finals".

"It's going to be stuck in my mind forever", Thiem said. He faces Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals Friday. "I'm going to remember this match, for sure", Thiem said. He had beaten the 6'6 Argentine at the same stage of the US Open last year and had ended Delpo's campaign at the French (semis) and Wimbledon (quarters) this year as well. Both maintained serves in the 120s and showed little sign of fatigue playing through long rallies more than four hours into the match.

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Williams, seeded 17th, meets the last player to beat her at the U.S. Open.

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