Nadal and Thiem quarterfinal match should be a dandy one

Order of play Day 7 Serena and Nadal resume title quests

Twenty-four hours after Roger Federer fell to John Millman, his old rival avoided following him out of the tournament, but only just, completing a 0-6 6-4 7-5 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (7/5) victory at 2.03am United States time.

Nadal, the defending champion, needed almost five hours to defeat ninth seed Thiem in a deciding tie-break after losing the opening set 6-0.

In a dramatic final set, Nadal saw five break points come and go before Thiem went long with a smash on the first match point. "Had been a very tough start for me".

With his first words to the media, Thiem underscored the weight of this match to both men. Tough match against a great opponent.

"I played a lot of long and tough matches in my career". "He's a close friend on tour". He played a good match. He's a top guy. "But I think he was also not on his top level in the first set - for sure not". In a titanic late-night quarter-final tussle, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem kept everybody engrossed, producing a fight for the ages.

Despite that, the 29-year-old was never broken in the 3 hour 31 minute match where Isner unleashed 26 aces but was undone by 52 unforced errors compared to Del Potro's 14.

Thiem handed Nadal, against whom he lost in the Roland Garros final in June, just his fourth ever "bagel" set at the Slams.

Nadal mounted an impressive comeback, winning the next two sets as he got to grips with the Austrian's power.

In the fifth, Nadal held three break points at 5-all, love-40, but Thiem took the next five points told serve.

"I'm expecting height into the Thiem backhand and then quick into the forehand side". "I mean, it's cruel sometimes tennis, because I think this match didn't really deserve a loser". "A question of a little bit of luck at the end". "But in a few days I will look back and will remember how great it was to play in front of a packed Arthur Ashe this great match". [I am] sorry for him.

"Whatever the humidity is on outer courts or in the city, I think it's amplified on center court", Isner said. "But he's a great guy".

"He will say "this is my opportunity and I'm expected to lose, but I have to go out there guns blazing". I'm sure he will have his chances in the future".

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

In 1992, Ivan Lendl defeated Boris Becker 6-7 (7-4), 6-2, 6-7 (7-4), 6-3, 6-4 in the fourth round that was described in media reports as the longest at the U.S. Open at the time, breaking the previous mark of 4 hours 54 minutes in the 1988 final between Lendl and Mats Wilander, won by Wilander 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7,6-4.

Isner paid tribute to Del Potro.

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