17-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal had to last a war’s time before seeing off Dominic Thiem at the quarter-finals of the 2018 US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows in New York.
The 32-year-old Spaniard beat Thiem in the longest match at this year’s tournament, lasting four hours and 49 minutes before being finished at 2:03am local time.
The US Open defending champion lost the first set 6-0 but later managed to recover and take a two-set lead before Thiem, the Austrian 9th seed leveled in a tie-break.
Nadal, in the end, came out on top after pipping the fifth-set-tie-break to win the highly contested encounter 0-6 6-4 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5).
"I said to Dominic: 'I'm very sorry and keep going.' He has plenty of time to win. He will have his chances in the future without a doubt," Nadal said.
"Suffering is the right word. It was a great battle," the reigning champion added when asked about how he managed to go through the tight moments of the game.
On Friday, he will play against the Argentine third seed and 2009 champion Juan Martin del Porto in the semi-finals.
By Robert K James