Rafael Nadal reacts to marathon match win with pure class

Rafael Nadal reacts to marathon match win with pure class

Rafael Nadal reacts to marathon match win with pure class

Nadal, the world No 1 from Spain, put a terrible start behind him - he won just seven points in the first set - to overcome the formidable challenge of Thiem, the world No 9 from Austria, 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-5).

Tuesday's first set between No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 9 Dominic Thiem was a stunner. It was a very tough start for me. After that first set, then the match became more normal. A tough match against a great opponent.

"I played a lot of long and tough matches in my career". And I played against a great opponent.

"To play John in these kind of matches, it's like an epic".

"He's a top guy, being honest".

"I'm sad for him because when this moment arrived, he did all the things well to win the match". I fought until the end.

Victories for Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic would see them set up a blockbuster quarter-final.

"I already played under worse conditions. It's good to have now two days that probably give me the chance to be 100 per cent in the semi-finals".

Nadal won 40 percent of his first serves in the opener as he struggled with the high humidity on Arthur Ashe Stadium court, with Thiem becoming the first player to "bagel" the Spaniard at Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick 14 years ago.

By defeating Basilashvili, Nadal has reached the quarter-finals of all the grand slams for the first time since 2011.

Nadal mounted an impressive comeback, winning the next two sets as he got to grips with the Austrian's power. 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.

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.

At this point, Thiem had to ask for a new pair of shoes and socks because his were waterlogged from sweating so much. "I mean, it's cruel sometimes tennis, because I think this match didn't really deserve a loser". 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. "I think he was also not on his top level in the first set, for sure not", Thiem said. "But he's a great guy".

"I had a shower, lay on the table and I didn't want to come back again". But now I wish him the title the most, that's for sure. "I hope that we have many more in the future with a different end".

For the finals of the U.S. Open to Nadal, being the primary racket of the world, will compete with Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, sown by the third quantity. But Nadal, after letting the 25-second serve clock expire, rallied to win the point and hold for a 5-4 lead.

Rafael Nadal, trapped in a nightmare first set against Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals of the US Open, knew where to look for answers.

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