Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Nadal sails into US Open semis

Nadal sails into US Open semis

"Whatever the humidity is on outer courts or in the city, I think it's amplified on center court", Isner said.

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

Rafael Nadal has revealed the secret conversation he had with Dominic Thiem after their US Open match. "He's a fighter, he has a great attitude".

There is one new element to this match - it's the first on hard courts.

"This match is going to be stuck in my mind forever - tennis is cruel sometimes", Thiem, comprehensively beaten by Nadal in June's French Open final, told reporters. Unfortunately for Thiem, he's going to have to remember the fact that, after running, fighting, swinging, and sweating for 4 hours and 49 minutes, he came up two points short of victory. However, a Google search revealed that a 1993 third round match between Richard Krajicek and Todd Martin actually lasted one minute longer, Krajicek winning 6-7, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 in five hours, ten minutes. The World No.1, for the first time, started the match with such a worst beginning.

"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. For the match, he hit 74 winners and 18 aces and stole six break points to Nadal's five. While Thiem clearly made the big winners, Nadal just knew when to raise his level by just a solitary notch, that awarded him the win.

Stephens, who said she had been dealing with a sinus infection, rued all of her wasted opportunities, most notably the seven break points she failed to convert in the first set.

The fourth set was a wild 81-minute ride that began with Thiem facing break points, saw the Austrian threaten a double break before being pegged back and then a tired Nadal miss a chance to win the match.

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"Of course, now I'm devastated a little bit. It means a lot to me".

It was a gruelling and see-sawing battle in the third but Nadal continued his comeback to take a two-sets-to-one lead, having been down a break at 5-4. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final. "I'm sure he will have his chances in the future".

But the fact that Nadal won and Federer did not was hardly the only difference in these two matches.

Rafael Nadal began his U.S. Open quarterfinal as poorly as possible, shut out in a set by a 6-0 score for only the fourth time in 282 career Grand Slam matches.

Thiem returned the favor, breaking Nadal again to cut the set to 5-4.

Isner said he needed to change his shirt 11 times.

For now, that baton handoff will have to wait.

At the end of four hours and 49 minutes, at 2:04 am NY time, that's the word Thiem was left ruing.

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