Nadal feeling fortunate after edging Thiem in thriller

Nadal was tested for the second match running in New York

Nadal was tested for the second match running in New York

World No.1 Rafa Nadal said his five-set win over ninth seed Dominic Thiem to reach the US Open semi-finals had been "very demanding in all aspects".

Her sluggish start against Pliskova came in the same 90-degree heat and 50-per cent humidity that hampered John Isner in his quarterfinal loss to Juan Martin del Potro on Tuesday afternoon, and Roger Federer in his fourth-round exit against John Millman a night earlier and prompted the tournament to suspend play in junior matches for a few hours.

"I suffered, that's the right word", said Nadal after playing his longest ever match at the tournament.

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.

And the 25-year-old, the only man to beat Nadal on clay for the last two seasons, set about showing his opponent he meant serious business in his first grand slam quarter-final outside of the French Open.

Nadal won the third set 7-5, and seemed to be on the verge of winning the fourth.

"Thank you very much everybody for staying here tonight", Nadal said after the four hour, 49 minute marathon. "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".

Dominic Thiem's US Open quarter-final defeat to Rafael Nadal is one that will stick in his mind "forever". And I would say if we skip the first set, (it) was really open match from the beginning to the end.

"It ended up in the fifth set tiebreaker, there it's 50/50". He is a close friend on tour and a great player.

Asked about that at his news conference, Thiem said with a chuckle: "Well, I don't think he's really sorry". "The only thing which was uncomfortable was the sweating I couldn't run any more in the fourth set because the shoes were completely wet", Thiem said. Thiem collected 24 of the opening set's 31 points, thanks in large part to a 13-3 edge in winners. Both maintained serves in the 120s and showed little sign of fatigue playing through long rallies more than four hours into the match.

There were no breaks of serve in the deciding set and a second tiebreak ensued. I think we nearly all the time have great matches.

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". Nadal then broke again to take the set 7-5.

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