Friday, 16 November, 2018

Rafael Nadal outlasts Dominic Thiem in marathon match at US Open

Basilashvili won a thrilling third set tiebreak Basilashvili won a thrilling third set tiebreak
Jennie Wade | 07 September, 2018, 11:05

Georgian Basilashvili had won just a single game against Nadal in their only previous meeting at the French Open a year ago, but played superbly here to take a set before going down 6-3 6-3 6-7 (6/8) 6-4 after three hours and 18 minutes.

Nadal, the No. 1 seed and defending U.S. Open champion was completely gassed in a dominant 6-0 first-set sweep for Thiem.

Thiem, on a roll, took the opening set in just 24 minutes, breaking Nadal thrice.

"Suffering is the right word", Nadal said.

The marathon tussle continued in the fifth and final set, Thiem fending off a triple break point by coming from love-40 down to make Nadal serve to stay in the championship and three-time US Open victor did before prevailing in a do-or-die tie-breaker.

Nadal will face third seed Juan Martin Del Potro in the first of the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows.

Nadal was on 55 winners and 49 unforced errors, winning six points less than his rival thanks to that awful first set but doing what he had to do in the end despite the fact he wasted five break points in the deciding set while Thiem had none. The Spaniard finally found his range in the second set, he couldn't dictate the points but he at least started to win points on his serve easily, getting broken once but scoring two breaks for a 6-4. It means a lot to me.

Find out how to watch Nadal vs Thiem live online streaming with or without cable when the match starts at approximately 9 pm EST, or when the previous match concludes. The fourth 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.

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Actor Ben Stiller was among those in the VIP seating section at Arthur Ashe Stadium, joining Nadal's family and support team as the Spaniard battled Dominic Thiem in an epic 5-set match.

His 12th appearance breaks the Ryder Cup record held by Nick Faldo.

"I said to Dominic: 'I'm very sorry and keep going.' He has plenty of time to win".

The momentum was with Nadal but Thiem regrouped in the third set and began to again blast winners into the corners. He hit 19 winners in the fourth set-which was an 81-minute mini-classic all by itself-and won it in a tiebreaker. But the challenge of playing him on hard of course is even higher for me personally than playing against him on clay, like happened in Roland Garros.

And Rusedski believes Thiem's best chance of knocking out Nadal is if he dictates matters from the baseline.

Dominic Thiem had to back up to go forward.

"First of all, I served really, really well today", Thiem said. But Thiem saved all three break points before denying Nadal a fourth opportunity with a stunning volley at the end of a remarkable point.

This is the world number one's first meeting with Thiem at the US Open but he has faced the Austrian three times at Grand Slam level (all at the French Open), winning in straight sets on each occasion.

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