Nadal into US Open semi-final after epic triumph over Thiem

Nadal into US Open semi-final after epic triumph over Thiem

Rafael Nadal has revealed the secret conversation he had with Dominic Thiem after their US Open match.

The Spaniard saved a break point in games nine and 11 but he stood no chance in the tie break, losing it 7-4 following a routine forehand that he sent into the net, handing the set to his rival and setting up a decider after more than three and a half hours of awesome battle!

Thiem took the first set in just 24 minutes, stunning a packed crowd at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

"The match was special for its different phases", Nadal said afterwards.

"I am playing a lot of hours on this lovely stadium, that does not bother me - it just bothers my legs", he said. "It was a very tough start".

"I just wish him all the very very best".

"Because he's young, he has plenty of time to win big tournaments". He always plays and practices with a great attitude.

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Thiem didn´t face a single break point against Wimbledon finalist Anderson as he became the first Austrian in the last-eight in NY since Thomas Muster in 1996.

"Thank you for the all the support", he said, addressing the Arthur Ashe crowd. But the last time, against Philipp Kohlschreiber in Miami last spring, he fought back to win the match.

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

Nadal leads their head-to-head 7-3 with all of their matches coming on clay courts, including in the final of Roland Garros in June when he captured an 11th French Open. Thiem had Nadal on the ropes, breaking him for 4-3 and then easily closing out his next service game.

Nadal crossed over to Thiem's side of the net and the two embraced.

Thiem was 4-2 ahead in the fourth set before he was again reeled in and he was two points from defeat in the 12th game.

"I am the guy to look at myself", Nadal said.

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Next up for Serena is a quarterfinal meeting with eighth seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova who advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 win over 18th seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia.

Thiem did not relent, however, and kept hammering away from the baseline to earn a chance to serve for the third set up 5-4.

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. I am focused on try to make that happen.

"If we skip the first set, it was a really open match from beginning to the end".

The Spaniard, chasing a fourth US Open crown, was shut out in the first set when he failed to win a game for only the fourth time in 282 career matches at majors.

"It's going to be stuck in my mind forever... Forever I'm going to remember this match, for sure", said Thiem after his first ever hard court match against Nadal.

Williams was on track to meet defending champion Sloane Stephens in the semi-finals but her third-seeded countrywoman was dumped out of the tournament via a 6-2, 6-3 loss to 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova.

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