Rafael Nadal defeats Dominic Thiem in US Open quarter-final

10 September, 2018, 18:55 | Author: Nicole Aguilar
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Rafael Nadal, of Spain, sits during a changeover in his match against Dominic Thiem, of Austria, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament early Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, in NY.

Rafael Nadal outlasted Dominic Thiem in an epic five-setter that lasted almost five hours and didn't finish until after 2 a.m. local time. The win was sealed when Thiem missed a hard overhead smash long, and Nadal looked to the sky, equal parts overjoyed and relieved.

In the fourth set, Thiem was a point away from going a double break up at 3-1. It's the first time he won the match after that kind of start. He's a great guy.

Thiem came out swinging, and connecting; he hit five aces, 13 winners, and handed Nadal a rare bagel in the first set.

At 2-1 down, Nadal looked favourite to extend his record against his opponent to 8-3, but Thiem was not to be denied and overcame the disappointment of losing an early break to claim the fourth set in a tiebreaker to square it up at two sets each. "Have been physically demanding because the conditions have been tough out there", he said. Of course, now I'm devastated a little bit.

The Spaniard had appeared the more tired of the two but he roused himself for one final effort and emerged victorious when Thiem sent a final smash long after four hours and 49 minutes.

"When Thiem has beaten Rafa, he's taken the serve early", Rusedski said on Amazon's Prime coverage when giving his thoughts before the match. 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. "Forever I'm going to remember this match".

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The reigning US Open champion will meet another veteran, the Argentine 2009 victor Juan Martin del Potro, in the next round.

With the great trio of Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic continuing to feature at the back end of the grand slams, the tennis world has been waiting for the next generation to take over - and Thiem put his hand up to be recognised as the most willing of the 25-and-unders. But, as in the second set, when the time came to keep his foot on Nadal's throat, he instead loosened the pressure and lived to regret it. I am focused on trying to make that happen. "I mean, it's cruel sometimes tennis, because I think this match didn't really deserve a loser".

"That's very special to me".

The third set was another grind.

He faces Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals Friday.

But while Isner was playing before what could count as a home crowd, del Potro got all manner of support throughout, from the blue-and-white flags or soccer jerseys dotting the stands to the repeated singsong chants of his nickname, "Delpo", punctuated by clapping. Law and Whitaker say it feels like there's an irresistible force behind del Potro that's pushing him to the title.

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