Nadal advances to US Open semi-final

07 September, 2018, 11:02 | Author: Marlene Myers
  • Dominic Thiem upsets 2017 finalist Kevin Anderson for first US Open QF

Defending champion Nadal suffered a "bagel" in the first set but still won 0-6 6-4 7-5 5-7 7-6 to avoid the same fate as Roger Federer. When Thiem finally broke down, with a botched smash on match point, the clock showed 2.04am in NY and the match duration was 4 hours 49 minutes, making it Nadal's longest ever match at Flushing Meadows. It's been a great battle. I could go very far back like I do on clay usually. "Of course, you know that your chances to play these kind of matches every time are less", Nadal said.

"It wasn't easy, obviously, I think one thing she did well was change her strategy and started doing just a completely different game and gave me a different look to her game", explained Serena, who laid down 18 aces.

It was the fourth win for Nadal in four Grand Slam matches against Thiem, the most recent coming in May's French Open Final.

Nadal will face No. 3 seed Juan Martin del Potro in the U.S. Open semifinals Friday.

If anybody still had any doubts over the Roland Garros runner-up's prowess on other surfaces, then he quashed them in style by winning a fourth set tie-break and setting up a deciding fifth set.

By this time, both players were drenched in sweat playing on a muggy 85-degree NY night. But Nadal again broke Thiem to secure the set, letting out a roar in the process. He was ready for battle.

The defending champion needed almost five hours to defeat ninth seed Dominic Thiem in a deciding tie-break after losing the opening set 6-0 and will face Juan Martin del Potro on Friday in a rematch of last year's semi-final.

More news: John Millman speaks out after stunning Roger Federer at the US Open

The third set was another grind. Then, down 3-1, she faced three break points; if Pliskova won any, she would have led 4-1.

Thiem opened his tournament in NY by thrashing Sofia champion Mirza Basic 6-3 6-1 6-4. Next up is No. 9 seed Dominic Thiem.

But the 32-year-old rallied to win the next two sets before Thiem forced a decider by winning a tie-break.

Nadal was overpowered by ninth seed Thiem - the only man to beat him on clay for the last two seasons - in the first set as the 25-year-old hit 13 winners and made only two unforced errors in an extraordinary start. Not only was Nadal two points from losing at 5-all in the closing tiebreaker, but he finished with fewer total points, 171-166. Having looked the more tired of the two, it was Nadal who was applying the greater pressure and at 5-5, 0-40 it seemed this was his chance.

At this point, Thiem had to ask for a new pair of shoes and socks because his were waterlogged from sweating so much.

Thiem has endured some tough moments in NY so far, including a come-from-behind five-set victory over Steve Johnson in the second round, but he put on a more assured performance in the fourth round when he steamrollered the risky Kevin Anderson in straight sets.

It was a surreal display from the youngster as he converted all three of his break points and conceded none to the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

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