Thiem: Nadal defeat will stick in my mind forever

Nikoloz Basilashvili demonstrated great power from the baseline

Dominic Thiem, of Austria, reacts after losing a point to Rafael Nadal, of Spain, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, in NY.

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.

Rafa went straight to the other court to hug Thiem after winning the match and exchanged words that could only have been of respect.

Thiem, who beat Nadal on clay in Madrid in the run-up to Paris, booked his place in the quarter-finals for the first time with a 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (7/2) win over 2017 runner-up Kevin Anderson.

It was the second time Nadal played a 4 hours + match, with his third round win over Karen Khachanov ending at 4 hours 23 minutes.

It was a gruelling and see-sawing battle in the third but Nadal continued his comeback to take a two-sets-to-one lead, having been down a break at 5-4.

Under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium, Nadal and Thiem delivered the NY crowd another memorable marathon, this time for a spot in the US Open semifinals.

"Of course, now I'm devastated a little bit".

In a battle between two gladiators, bot of whom refused to give up, World No. 1 and defending champion Rafael Nadal emerged unscathed, but not before he and Dominic Thiem gave the world a delectable display of high-quality tennis.

"I was playing really not a good game", said Williams, who was a point from trailing 4-1 and did fall behind 4-2 while making 22 of her 30 unforced errors in the first set. While Thiem clearly made the big winners, Nadal just knew when to raise his level by just a solitary notch, that awarded him the win.

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But he took the tiebreaker before Nadal just proved the steadier of the two in the final set decider.

"This match is going to be stuck in my mind forever - tennis is cruel sometimes", Thiem, comprehensively beaten by Nadal in June's French Open final, told reporters.

"He has a great attitude and is a great fighter", added Nadal. He walked quietly to the center of the court, then stepped over the net and embraced 25-year-old Dominic Thiem.

Nadal recovered from being broken as he served for the second set in the ninth game with an immediate break back to level the contest. After that first set, then the match became more normal. In fact, Nadal never faced match point, and Thiem faced only one all night.

"The conditions have been tough out there, too".

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

"To play John in these kind of matches, it's like an epic".

"He will say "this is my opportunity and I'm expected to lose, but I have to go out there guns blazing".

Nadal holds an 11-5 record against Del Potro.