US Open day nine: Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem in marathon match

Iron man Dominic Thiem celebrates after beating Kevin Anderson

Iron man Dominic Thiem celebrates after beating Kevin Anderson

Twenty-four hours after Roger Federer fell to John Millman, his old rival avoided following him out of the tournament, but only just, completing a 0-6 6-4 7-5 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (7/5) victory at 2.03am. The 32-year-old Spaniard, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, knows better than anyone how to will a way out.

When that emblem of career longevity Serena Williams was asked Tuesday night following her win in the U.S. Open quarterfinals why the desire to win another Grand Slam title burns hotter in her than it did before she took time off to have her daughter, she gave an answer that made tennis fans a bit weepy. For me it was a very tough start. Until the fifth-set tiebreaker, the first contested so far this tournament, it was truly any man's game to win. "When the things happen like this, the atmosphere and the crowd become more special".

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.

Present victor of the event 3 times filed via, actively gained fifty five factors and has made forty nine unforced errors.

It was only the fourth time in his long grand slam history that Nadal had lost a set 6-0 and just the third time at any level in almost seven years.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Rafael Nadal outlasts Thiem in 5-set US Open thriller".

In the first Nadal was all over the place, totally unable to find any rhythm and a set down after just 26 minutes when he won just seven points. "I told myself "wake up", said Nadal.

In the last game of the third set, he ran Thiem from corner to corner before squeezing back-to-back backhand down the line winners and taking the 12th game to deuce.

The 2009 champion won 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 and will face top-ranked Rafael Nadal or No. 9 Dominic Thiem in the semifinals.

"The only thing I was thinking was to finish the first set and try to forget about the start and stay in the match in the second set".

Perhaps Thiem, after a change of socks and shoes, looked the fresher going into the decider but he needed to save two break points at 2-2, one with an ace, to maintain parity. "I'm going to remember this match, for sure", Thiem said.

"I think in the last three sets I improved". But there has to be one.

"In some way when you give everything that you have, win or lose, it just that someone have to lose, someone have to win, that's part of the game", Nadal said.

Thiem entered the quarter-final after he knocked out South African fifth seed Kevin Anderson - the man who lost in the final to Nadal at Flushing Meadows previous year - in three sets earlier on Sunday. It's cruel sometimes tennis, because I think this match didn't really deserve a loser. "Every match really means a lot to me".

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

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