Rafael Nadal beats Thiem, enters US Open semis

Rafael Nadal beats Thiem, enters US Open semis

Rafael Nadal recovered from a first-set bagel to defeat Dominic Thiem and reach the US Open semi-finals following another late-night classic in NY.

Nadal will now play Argentina's former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in the semi finals, after the third seed advanced with a four set victory over American John Isner.

Nadal was shockingly shut out in the first set by a 6-0 score, before coming back to take the next two 6-4, 7-5.

Dominic Thiem will remember the day he nearly beat Rafael Nadal at a Grand Slam. The World No.1, for the first time, started the match with such a worst beginning.

Rafael Nadal outlasted Dominic Thiem in an epic five-setter that lasted almost five hours and didn't finish until after 2 a.m. local time. The quarterfinal between Nadal and Thiem had night-match classic written all over it, and the Spaniard and the Austrian delivered.

Most players would have been left deflated after falling behind in such a manner but Thiem was not in that category - the former world number four raising his game another level to take out the tie-break, having surrendered 3-1 and 4-2 leads against Nadal, who saved six break points in the set. Not only was Nadal two points from losing at 5-all in the closing tiebreaker, but he finished with fewer total points, 171-166. And, yes, I played against a great opponent.

"He did all the things well to win the match", Nadal said.


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.

"To reach the semifinal again here in NY in my favourite tournament is very special to me", said Del Potro after his eighth win over Isner in 12 meetings. "Forever I'm going to remember this match". "A question of a little bit of luck at the end".

"It's going to be stuck in my mind forever", Thiem said. As usual, he had to do it without the benefit of many cheap points; he hit just three aces, 15 fewer than Thiem.

This one was never easy: Nadal trailed by a break in the third set before taking it.

That said, you don't win 17 Grand Slams without being able to dig deep in the face of adversity and after hanging in there, the top seed took advantage of a poor service game from the 25-year-old to earn the chance to serve out the second. He's a great guy, a great player.

"Thiem has a good attitude on the court and in training". Del Potro, who has been the most dominant men's player this year, will have to go full throttle if he has to release Nadal's stranglehold over him.

These two have faced one another 10 total includes including three times this year, though no previous meetings were during the US Open. That was the first set dropped by del Potro in the tournament.

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