Rafa Nadal beats Dominic Thiem in one of the greatest US Open matches ever.
It was a match that had all the twists and turns that a sporting epic can provide us with. A young Dominic Thiem coming up against his idol in the quarter-finals, on a dreamy and sweaty night in New York, a night that was about to witness one of the greatest US Open matches of all time.
Rafa Nadal was pushed to the brink of elimination, he had to dig into his special reserves, unleash that warrior appetite and hope that Thiem comes out short.
In the end, a overhead going long meant that Rafa Nadal had crawled into the US Open semi finals, after a 4 hour 49 minute long battle with one of the superstars of the next generation.
When Thiem ‘bagelled’ Nadal in the opening set, it seemed as if the Austrian had figured out a method to beat the World no.1.
Nadal held on, like always, staying in the match, rallying hard and despite Thiem serving for 2 sets to 1 lead in the 3rd, Nadal somehow managed to break him twice in order to clinch that all important set.
With momentum on Rafa’s side, it seemed like the Thiem challenge would fade away, but it just kept growing in stature.
Hard ground strokes, terrific net play and that desire to level the match helped Thiem take it to a final set.
The final set was all about holding your nerve, making sure you don’t blink before your opponent, and the duo, having put so much into the match already, refused to blink at all.
The 5th set tie break was inevitable and most certainly the correct way to determine the outcome of this epic.
The tie break produced standing ovation after standing ovation from the crowd, as Tennis of the highest quality was on display at 2 am in New York.
In the end, Rafa Nadal won the battle, just like he has done multiple times in his career, by refusing to blink before his opponent.
Nadal will now face del Potro in the semi finals, in what promises to be another US Open classic.
This is how Twitter reacted:
What a match! 😯
It went very late, but Rafael Nadal is into the #USOpen semi-finals after a five-set classic in New York.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) September 5, 2018
Total points won:
Nadal – 166
Thiem – 171#usopen
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 5, 2018
Sportsmanship of the highest caliber…
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2018
Nadal on Thiem: Just say that I’m very happy and you’re good. Keep going. He has everything, he’s a fighter and a great attitude, that’s the most important thing, well-educated. Top person. He’ll have his chances in the future.
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) September 5, 2018
Rafael Nadal is the Greatest Tennis Player of all Time. The title is his. Not Djokovic, not Sampras, not Connors, not Agassi, not Borg, not Lendl, not Roger Federer. #USOpen18 pic.twitter.com/2qCIn1AwLo
— Christofer Horta (@chris_horta) September 5, 2018
Since Federer endorsed Uniqlo: 0 Majors
Since Nadal endorsed Mario Tennis: 1 going on 2 majors pic.twitter.com/T0X3MsRYGY
— Azam (@AMas92) September 5, 2018
IT’S OVER AT 2:04 AM: Rafael Nadal outlasts Dominic Thiem 7-5 in the 5th-set tiebreaker. The match lasts 4-hours, 49-minutes. Nadal advances to the semi-finals at the US Open.
— WTOP Sports (@WTOPSports) September 5, 2018
— Daniel (@Oracle_Dave23) September 5, 2018
No one except for maybe Federer at the 2017 Australian Open has needed the 2-day break more than Nadal needs them after these last 3 matches. #USOpen
— Trenton Jocz (@TrentonJocz) September 5, 2018
Nadal has had some incredibly tough matches already. If he can get through DelPo and Djoker to win this tournament, he will reignite the GOAT argument
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 5, 2018
Terrific !!!!! Nadal wins this marathon ! 👌🏻💪🏻
— sravan kumar (@ssravan) September 5, 2018
Nadal says how sorry he feels for Thiem: “a very close friend of mine”.
Crushing for Thiem. He played such a consistent, impressive #USOpen. But about time the Spaniard avoided a heartbreaker in a match like this.
His sister’s tears from the player box said enough about that.
— Abigail Johnson (@abigailtennis) September 5, 2018
— Aditya Ganesh (@adi_d_ganesh) September 5, 2018
Win or Lose #USOpen , Nadal has shown tremendous grit and determination to win 3 Marathon Matches in a Row !
Get 2Days rest Rafa ! ❤️❤️❤️
See you on Friday !
— Kedharnath Aiyer (@KedharAiyer) September 5, 2018
Brilliant 5 set tennis on the full limiter @usopen . The two men were bulls out there, relentless.
— roger rasheed (@roger_rasheed) September 5, 2018
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) September 5, 2018
Epic epic epic epic epic U.S
Open match between Nadal and Thiem…an honor to stay up til 2 am in the east to watch…
— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) September 5, 2018
— Piyush Patel (@PPspeaking) September 5, 2018