US Open 2018: Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem in quarter-finals

Ruben Holloway
September 6, 2018

The marathon tussle continued in the fifth and final set, Thiem fending off a triple break point by coming from love-40 down to make Nadal serve to stay in the championship and three-time U.S. Open victor did before prevailing in a do-or-die tie-breaker.

After dropping the first set, 6-0, in a lackadaisical performance, Nadal fought back throughout the 4-hour 49-minute match to ultimately win, 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5).

"Very demanding in all aspects", Nadal said of his triumph at a post-match media conference. "But in some way, being honest, I had a very tough injury in 2005".

Laughing, Thiem said he did not think Nadal was "really sorry".

He revealed that he'd offered his condolences to ninth seed Thiem at the net, telling him that he was a good player and urging him to keep going.

"Because he's young, he has plenty of time to win big tournaments". "He's a fighter, he has a great attitude. I am sorry for him, but I am sure he will have his chances in the future, without a doubt".

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"John is a friend of mine and he deserves to be in the quarters as well", said Del Potro, who has not dropped a set so far in NY.

"Thank you for the all the support", he said, addressing the Arthur Ashe crowd. There are the matches he actually loses - as the past and present world No. 1, a 17-time major victor, these are rare - but not before leaving behind a Mediterranean Sea's worth of sweat and tears.

Nadal will face 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro next, with the 2009 champion having outslugged John Isner 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-6 (4-7), 6-2 to reach the last four.

Remarkably, Thiem was the first top-20 player Nadal has faced at Flushing Meadows since his final win over Novak Djokovic in 2013.

When it ended, on an overhead by Thiem that sailed long, everyone in Nadal's guest box - a group that included actor Ben Stiller - leaped to their feet to celebrate.

Nadal also trailed by a break in the third set before taking it but came within two points of victory late in the fourth before being pushed to a fifth, where he was two points from a loss.

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"I said to Dominic I am sorry".

Serving for the match, the Latvian raced out to triple match point and although Stephens saved two of them, Sevastova sealed the win when the 25-year-old American pushed a backhand into the net. I know how he plays, he knows how I am playing.

The opening set was only the fourth time in 282 career Grand Slam matches that Nadal lost a set 6-0 and this was the first time he had been victorious after doing so.

After holding at love in game 11, Rafa converted the third set point with a forehand down the line victor for four games in a row and 7-5, moving a set away from the place in the semi-final.

Nadal saw five break points come and go before Thiem went long with a smash on the first match point.

The opener looked to be heading for a tiebreak before Del Potro dispatched a backhand volley to earn himself two more break points in the 10th game.

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