Nadal outlasts Thiem in US Open classic to reach semis

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World number one Rafael Nadal entered the semi-final of the ongoing US Open after struggling past Dominic Thiem of Austria in the quarter-finals of the men's singles event here at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.

Thiem became the first player since Andy Roddick in 2004 to win a love set against Nadal in NY but the Spaniard once again dug deep to come out on top of a gruelling battle played in more punishing humidity.

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.

Nadal, who was on court for four hours and 48 minutes in a tie which finished at 2.04am local time in NY (7.04am BST), commented on the humidity of the playing conditions that has troubled so many players in this year's Open, and broke down his performance.

The seven-time Grand Slam victor Mats Wilander deeply analyzed the fourth round US Open match between Rafael Nadal and Nikoloz Basilashvili.

"Very demanding in all aspects", Nadal said later. "But in some way, being honest, I had a very tough injury in 2005".

"I am very sorry for Dominic, he's a close friend on tour, a great guy and a great player". "I played some good ones before, but not that long, not that long against the great guys on the Grand Slam stage", Thiem said. The quarterfinal between Nadal and Thiem had night-match classic written all over it, and the Spaniard and the Austrian delivered.

Defending champion Nadal suffered a "bagel" in the first set but still won 0-6 6-4 7-5 5-7 7-6 to avoid the same fate as Roger Federer.

"It was a very tough start", Nadal said. And, yes, I played against a great opponent.

'I think from the third set he moved a little bit up.

"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.

At this point, Thiem had to ask for a new pair of shoes and socks because his were waterlogged from sweating so much.

In the fourth set, Thiem once again took control early, breaking Nadal to take a 2-1 lead.

"It's going to be stuck in my mind forever... He is young and has plenty of time to win tournaments". That mistake might have stayed in Nadal's head, because he played terribly in the ensuing tiebreaker.

"He's maybe playing some of the best tennis ever right now for him", said the American.

Isner did not end the tournament empty-handed despite his loss to Del Potro.

Pliskova is the last woman to beat Williams at the U.S. Open, eliminating her in the semifinals two years ago. "Forever I'm going to remember this match". The Spaniard prevailed in four sets, but Basilashvili played an unbelievable tennis hitting a lot of winners. "Beating John in these kind of matches is like an epic, an epic match".

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