Rafael Nadal needs 5 sets, almost 5 hours to outlast Dominic Thiem

06 September, 2018, 02:33 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • Rafael Nadal

Nadal, who was on court for four hours and 48 minutes in a tie which finished at 2.04am local time in NY (7.04am BST), commented on the humidity of the playing conditions that has troubled so many players in this year's Open, and broke down his performance.

"You are very good", Nadal said. It is the first time he won a match after that kind of start.

Rafael Nadal watched as his opponent hit an overhead beyond the baseline on match point and then dropped his racket to his side.

Nadal said he had told Thiem he was sorry for the result although the Austrian laughed off that consolation from his close friend.

"He is a very well educated guy and a top person. I did it sometime against him, but it's a risky game style because it can happen that I make too many mistake, and then it looks black".

"I think last three sets I improved. I hope that we have many more in the future with a different end". I'm happy, of course, to be in the semifinals again. "Every match really means a lot to me".

When asked about facing Del Potro in the semi-final, Nadal said: He's a great player everywhere.

Dominic Thiem lost to the defending champion in a an epic five-set quarter final. Thiem collected 24 of the opening set's 31 points, thanks in large part to a 13-3 edge in winners.

The fourth set was a wild 81-minute ride that began with Thiem facing break points, saw the Austrian threaten a double break before being pegged back and then a tired Nadal miss a chance to win the match.

Most players would have been left deflated after falling behind in such a manner, but Thiem was not in that category-- the former world No. 4 raising his game another level to take out the tie-break, having surrendered 3-1 and 4-2 leads against Nadal, who saved six break points in the set.

But in a titanic battle worthy of a final, with stunning winners on both rackets and breathtaking defense, the top-seeded Nadal rallied to outlast Thiem, 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-5), in the longest match of this year's tournament - four hours and 49 minutes.

"It's going to be stuck in my mind forever", Thiem said.

There are no chill Rafael Nadal matches, like oh cool, I'll watch some tennis and my blood pressure will stay level. It was a question of a little bit of luck at the end.

Rafael Nadal showed his class by jumping over the net to embrace Dominic Thiem.

"On clay, I think it's one of the biggest challenges in sports to beat this guy or to compete with this guy", said Thiem, who is in the US Open quarterfinals for the first time in four tries.

Nadal seemed to be on the verge of cracking the code when he broke back in the fourth and came within two points of winning the match. "I don't want to lose against anybody, but now I wish him the title the most, that's for sure".

"We fought the whole match and I survived with my serve which was key".

But at one point, the 2016 Olympic Games star looked tense as she stood up to applaud her beau.

Nadal will now face Juan Martin del Potro in a repeat of last year's semi-final.

Del Potro won, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.


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