Nadal advances to US Open semi-final

Iron man Dominic Thiem celebrates after beating Kevin Anderson

The he hit the on button.

The Spaniard had appeared the more tired of the two but he roused himself for one final effort and emerged victorious when Thiem sent a final smash long after four hours and 49 minutes.

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

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

"In the first set I only won seven points, I hadn't started and it could've been very unpleasant".

NEW YORK-"It's going to be stuck in my mind forever", Dominic Thiem said when his epic, five-set quarterfinal loss to Rafael Nadal was over.

Nadal will now face third seed Juan Martin del Potro, who defeated John Isner, in a repeat of last year's semi-final.

And Rusedski believes Thiem's best chance of knocking out Nadal is if he dictates matters from the baseline.

Nadal had to regroup again for the fifth set.

No man blinked in the decider, with the second tiebreak of the net beckoning and Nadal's reservoir of experience and stamina served him well as he managed to vanquish his younger foe in a marathon tie that lasted little under five hours. He was ready for battle.

The defending champion and No. 1 seed at Flushing Meadows recovered from his disastrous start and other stumbles along the way to beat No. 9 Dominic Thiem 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) for a semifinal berth at a third consecutive Grand Slam tournament, winning a physical, back-and-forth tussle that concluded after 2 a.m. on Wednesday.

"I think in the last three sets I improved". This time, Thiem broke first in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead.

His dominance continued and he sent another glorious backhand victor beyond Nadal to secure the double break and a 3-0 lead. "The only truth is that you have to do things better to be able to fight for the point and fight for the match". That was the first set dropped by del Potro in the tournament. Had Federer won that match and Nadal won tonight, the two would have met in the Semifinals.

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.

This was only the fourth time in 282 career Grand Slam matches that Nadal has been bagelled in a set - on the three previous occasions, he lost. The Spaniard, who had been at the receiving end of some of Thiem's stinging returns, latched on to solid serve by Thiem and whacked it inside out and drew an error from the Austrian.

Gauff said she tried both those sports, but found her niche with tennis. But Thiem closed out the game after giving up the first three points, putting Nadal under the gun, serving to survive to a tiebreak.

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