Nadal feeling fortunate after edging Thiem in thriller

Nadal feeling fortunate after edging Thiem in thriller

Nadal feeling fortunate after edging Thiem in thriller

In a gripping 4-hour 49-minute contest, which concluded at 2.04 a.m. on Wednesday, world number one Nadal won through to keep his bid for a fourth title in NY and 18th Grand Slam crown on track.

In an interview after his titanic battle, the 32-year-old Nadal gave credit to his opponent saying the match was very demanding in all aspects after almost five hours on court.

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).

But the 17-time grand slam champion battled back to win the second and third sets before Thiem came out on top of an 81-minute fourth set to take the match into a nerve-wracking decider.

"It was a very tough start", Nadal said.

"Very demanding, in all aspects", said Nadal, who will face 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro on Friday for a berth in the final.

Pliskova offered this guess about what was happening to Williams: "Maybe she was a little bit nervous".

"It has been a great battle". And I would say if we skip the first set, it was a really open match from the beginning to the end.

"He's young, he has plenty of time to win big tournaments", he said on court.

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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.

"If he decides to stand far back, Rafa will be thinking "yum yum, I can get my forehand into play".

The southpaw went down a break in the third and fourth sets as Thiem simply never backed off from making winners off both the wings.

John Isner continued the best season of his career by reaching his first quarter-final in NY for seven years.

"That's definitely the most important thing going on right now in my life, more important than this tournament", he said, after defeating Milos Raonic. "I'm playing a lot of hours this year at this lovely stadium". "The conditions were tough, humid".

The Nadal who was gassed and wearing a cooling vest during breaks in the first set was no more.

"To play John in these kind of matches, it's like an epic". Thiem had an early 3-0 lead in the tie-breaker, and was able to close it out on his second set point.

Thiem came out swinging, and connecting; he hit five aces, 13 winners, and handed Nadal a rare bagel in the first set. I think we nearly all the time have great matches.

By virtue of losing the opening set against John Isner, Del Potro ensured the US Open will remain the only grand slam in the Open era where no man has won the singles title without dropping a set.

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