Nadal on epic US Open match: 'I suffered, that's the right word'

Nadal on epic US Open match: 'I suffered, that's the right word'

Nadal on epic US Open match: 'I suffered, that's the right word'

But in a titanic battle worthy of a final, with stunning winners on both racquets and breathtaking defence, top seed Nadal rallied to outlast Thiem 0-6 6-4 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) in the longest match of this year's tournament - four hours and 49 minutes.

US Open champion Rafael Nadal overcame a rare bagel and a relentless challenge from Dominic Thiem in an epic five-set quarter-final clash lasting nearly five hours in NY.

Nadal will now meet Argentine and world number three Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals, but the 32-year-old revealed the conversation he had with his Austrian opponent Thiem.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams survived her first test of the tournament to reach the quarter-finals for the 15th time. "Yeah, I need to play my best match of the tournament if I want to keep having chances to stay in the tournament". "So I didn't face one break point, and I didn't feel so much pressure on service games", said Thiem.

"I know he's been playing well so I'll have to play at my highest level", the Spaniard concluded. Dominic had 13 winners and just two unforced error and it was impossible for Nadal to keep that pace, losing serve at 15 in the opening game of the match after a forehand victor from Thiem.

The conclusion to the near five-hour quarter-final, which ended after 2am local time, came in a tie-break.

His 12th appearance breaks the Ryder Cup record held by Nick Faldo.

"I'm very sorry for Dominic", Nadal told a rowdy crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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. Nadal then broke again to take the set 7-5. "It's good to have now two days [without a match] that probably give me the chance to be 100 per cent in the semi-finals".

"When Thiem has beaten Rafa, he's taken the serve early", Rusedski said on Amazon's Prime coverage when giving his thoughts before the match.

The world number one was remarkably bageled in the opening set, but recovered to win 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5). He was two points from victory at 6-5, deuce, in the fourth as Thiem served, but flubbed a forehand volley, leaping for a ball that appeared to be sailing out and dumping it into the net.

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

Defending women's champion Sloane Stephens had a more straightforward passage against Elise Mertens, but Elina Svitolina became the eighth of the top-10 women to fall.

"Sad for him because when arrive this moment, he did all the things well to win the match", Nadal said of Thiem.

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