Rafael Nadal survives a bagel and stern Dominic Thiem test

Order of play Day 7 Serena and Nadal resume title quests

The match lasted four hours and 49 minutes and did not conclude until 2:04 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Rafael Nadal vs. Dominic Thiem went on long into the small hours, with Nadal eventually prevailing in a pulsating deciding-set tiebreak.

Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Dominic Thiem during the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament on September 5, 2018, in NY.

Nadal had also played the second-longest match of this year's tournament: his four-set win over Karen Khachanov in the third round, which lasted four hours, 23 minutes.

However, the 32-year-old Spanish top seed recovered to lead two sets to one before Thiem levelled in a tie-break.

"The match was special for its different phases", Nadal said afterwards.

But he took the tiebreaker before Nadal just proved the steadier of the two in the final set decider.

Where can I get tickets for Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem? . The Austrian blasted 13 winners, made only two unforced errors and allowed Nadal just seven points in winning an extraordinary opening set.

He revealed that he'd offered his condolences to ninth seed Thiem at the net, telling him that he was a good player and urging him to keep going. He has now won seven U.S. Open quarterfinals in a row when he's made it that far; his only loss in that round came back in 2006. "Me, too. I fought until the end".

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Thiem told a post-match media conference: "It's going to be stuck in my mind forever". He will have his chances in the future without a doubt, ' Nadal said. "The conditions were tough, very humid for me". The fifth set brought a great tennis as well, with Thiem saving two break points at 2-2 to remain on the positive side of the scoreboard. There are the matches he actually loses - as the past and present world No. 1, a 17-time major victor, these are rare - but not before leaving behind a Mediterranean Sea's worth of sweat and tears. "That's one more today", he said after his 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/5) win.

It was just the fourth time in 282 career Grand Slam matches that Nadal lost a set 6-0, and the first time he won a match after that poor of a start.

Nadal can enjoy an extra day of rest before Friday's semifinal against No. 3 seed Juan Martin del Potro.

"It was a very tough start", Nadal said. They have more value, more personal value, when you come back from tough moments, no?

Remarkably, Thiem was the first top-20 player Nadal has faced at Flushing Meadows since his final win over Novak Djokovic in 2013, with last year's title seeing him take on a succession of unexpected opponents.

He then rallied past Taylor Fritz 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-4 before beating 2017 finalist Kevin Anderson in straight sets 7-5 6-2 7-6.

The Croatian needed a medical timeout in the second set and was then blown away by Del Potro's booming forehand in the third, surrendering the set in just 30 minutes.

"We fought the whole match and I survived with my serve which was key".

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