Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Nadal and Thiem quarterfinal match should be a dandy one

Nadal and Thiem quarterfinal match should be a dandy one

Finishing just after 2 a.m local time, the defending champion saw off his younger Austrian opponent 0-6 6-4 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) in what was his longest match at the US Open.

The reigning US Open champion and world number one endured a gruelling match against ninth-seeded Thiem, who swept the first set 6-0 on Tuesday night, reports EFE news agency.

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.

"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.

Nadal was completely dismantled by Thiem in the first set as the American crowd was shocked into silence in NY, the Austrian hitting vaporising forehands and backhands to wrap up the opener in just 24 minutes - tallying 13 winners, five aces and 24 points in total compared to just seven from the former.

Despite the 6-0 first set, the match lasted four hours, 49 minutes, making it the eighth longest U.S. Open match on record. Moving head-to-head in the thrilling clash, the tie-breaker in the decisive set seemed to be the fitting end of the match. "A question of a little bit of luck at the end". "It was a very tough start, I tried to stay in the match in the second set", he said on court after securing passage to the semifinals. But the last time, against Philipp Kohlschreiber in Miami last spring, he fought back to win the match. He came within two points of victory late in the fourth set before being pushed to a fifth, where he was two points from a loss. He is a close friend on tour and a great player.

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

Del Potro dropped his first set of the tournament against 11th seed Isner, who was playing in his maiden quarter-final at his home Slam.

"That's definitely the most important thing going on right now in my life, more important than this tournament", he said, after defeating Milos Raonic. "I think he was also not on his top level in the first set, for sure not", Thiem said.

"I already played under worse conditions. If he's sweating a lot and has to change clothes, then you know it's pretty humid out there".

After almost five hours on a humid court, he knew it would be a hard loss for whichever one of them was eliminated, and he continued to express his sympathy for Thiem.

Nadal evened the match by breaking in the final game of the second set. He played a good match.

"I had a shower, lay on the table and I didn't want to come back again". I think we nearly all the time have great matches. Nadal then broke again to take the set 7-5.

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