Nadal outlasts Thiem in 5-set US Open thriller

Nadal outlasts Thiem in 5-set US Open thriller

Nadal outlasts Thiem in 5-set US Open thriller

World number one Nadal had only lost a set 6-0 at a grand slam on three previous occasions - the 2015 Australian Open, 2006 Wimbledon and the 2004 US Open - but that changed against rampant ninth seed Thiem in the opening set on Tuesday. For me it was a very tough start. Nadal had defeated Thiem in the Roland Garros final in June but this was their first meeting away from a clay court. Tough match against a great opponent.

"It was physically demanding because the conditions were tough out there, too". I know how he plays, he knows how I am playing.

Stiller felt the intensity of the match and was often seen displaying the kind of nerves he had while taking his lie detector test in "Meet the Parents".

"To be honest, I am very, very sorry for Dominic", he added.

"(I am) sad for him because when [he arrived at] this moment, he did all the things well to win the match. "But I think he was also not on his top level in the first set - for sure not. I hope to continue that way".

It was the first still moment in almost five hours of epic, smash-ball, anything-you-can-hit-I-can-hit-harder tennis. "It's good to have now two days that probably give me the chance to be 100 per cent in the semi-finals".

Remarkably, Thiem was the first top-20 player Nadal has faced at Flushing Meadows since his final win over Novak Djokovic in 2013, with last year's title seeing him take on a succession of unexpected opponents.

At Wimbledon, Nadal came back from two sets to one down to win in five in a quarter-final which stretched to nearly five hours. Nadal then held serve to take a 6-5 lead and closed out the set on Thiem's serve on his third set point.

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The Austrian was heartbroken but proud, saying: "It's going to be stuck in my mind forever".

"This match didn't deserve a loser, but there has to be one". It was a question of a little bit of luck at the end. Unfortunately for Thiem, he's going to have to remember the fact that, after running, fighting, swinging, and sweating for 4 hours and 49 minutes, he came up two points short of victory. [I am] sorry for him. He walked quietly to the center of the court, then stepped over the net and embraced 25-year-old Dominic Thiem.

"He's a great guy".

"I had a shower, lay on the table and I didn't want to come back again".

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

Nadal, who registered his 12th consecutive victory in the tournament, managed to maintain his record of not losing a single US Open quarter-final since his first last-eight appearance in 2006.

He said: "I have my trophy at home".

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