Heat policy in effect again at US Open

Marcus Newton
September 10, 2018

"You are very good", Nadal said. This sport is tough, so it's so easy to get very frustrated out there on the court when things aren't going your way.

"I said to Dominic I am sorry". "I think he was also not on his top level in the first set, for sure not", Thiem said.

World No.1 Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem in a grueling five-set quarterfinal, recovering from a disastrous opening set to clinch the match in dramatic style.

Nadal will now play Argentina's former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in the semi finals, after the third seed advanced with a four set victory over American John Isner. By this time, both players were drenched in sweat playing on a muggy 85-degree NY night.

Nadal is coming off a French Open championship and a stellar run on hard courts that included a title in Toronto last month.

A tense fifth followed, with Thiem keeping his nerve remarkably to hold from 0-40 down at 5-5 but he eventually cracked in the breaker as Nadal pulled off a famous victory. He was ready for battle.

Rafael Nadal recovered from a first-set bagel to defeat Dominic Thiem and reach the US Open semi-finals following another late-night classic in NY.

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Del Potro admitted the 33-degree temperatures proved a real challenge with the 10-minute heat rule allowing the players a welcome respite after the third set. But Nadal was ready for the moment, breaking Thiem to tie the set at 5-5. But once again Nadal stepped up the level, saved two break points in the game and then went on to claw back to 4-4.

His dominance continued and he sent another glorious backhand victor beyond Nadal to secure the double break and a 3-0 lead.

Thiem was 4-2 ahead in the fourth set before he was again reeled in and he was two points from defeat in the 12th game. He had won 171 points, Nadal 166. That was the first set dropped by del Potro in the tournament.

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.

The fourth set was more of the same, with both players pushing themselves in the hot and humid conditions.

Thiem had clearly learnt the lessons of his loss and came out all guns blazing, taking the opening set to love as Nadal struggled to keep up with his younger opponent's aggressive play. 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. But he is still a rarity in the tennis circles, in that he has beaten Nadal twice on clay: in Madrid past year and Rome this time around. 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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