Nadal outlasts Thiem in 5-set US Open thriller

Nikoloz Basilashvili demonstrated great power from the baseline

Dominic Thiem, of Austria, reacts after losing a point to Rafael Nadal, of Spain, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, in NY.

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.

The match, which lasted 4 hours and 49 minutes, ended after 2 a.m. local time, with Nadal prevailing 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-5).

Nadal moves forward to a clash with Juan Martin del Potro, who defeated John Isner, in a rematch of last year's semi-final.

"It's cruel, sometimes, tennis", Thiem said, calling the loss "the first really epic match I've played". And it was the way Nadal won - with power and tireless energy, matching his younger opponent's athleticism and appearing to grow stronger with each monstrous forehand - that told the story of how the two best players in the world have fared in recent months.

"When you don't play big points well, the match can get away from you", Stephens said.

Nadal, a three-time U.S. Open champion, had lost to Thiem in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open in May, but pummeled him in a lopsided French Open final in June.

"Of course, now I'm devastated a little bit".

After suffering a first set "bagel", Nadal had to battle back from breaks in the third and fourth sets before seeing off the first top 20 player he had faced at the US Open since 2013.

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"I mean, he's a great guy".

"Still long way to go, I think", she said.

The popular third seed will now attempt to take a step he has not managed since winning his only grand slam title here nine years ago and reach another final. "He's a fighter, he has a great attitude". "The conditions were tough, very humid for me".

However, the 32-year-old Spanish top seed recovered to lead two sets to one before Thiem levelled in a tie-break. That mistake might have stayed in Nadal's head, because he played terribly in the ensuing tiebreaker.

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".

And while the brutal straight sets thrashing at Roland Garros would've hurt, there was a belief this defeat, especially after his flawless first set, would've stung even more.

"We fought the whole match and I survived with my serve which was key".

Del Potro's victory was no walk in the park either, the Argentinian battling through strength-sapping heat and humidity to win 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 7-6 (7/4) 6-2.

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