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Rafael Nadal reveals secret Dominic Thiem conversation after US Open win

05 September 2018

Seeking his 18th grand slam trophy, Nadal was stunned in a first set won to love by Thiem before the Spaniard came back to take the next two.

Nothing could separate them in the opening seven games, with just four points for the returners before Nadal earned a break in game eight after a poor backhand from Dominic.

"I suffered, that's the right word", said Nadal after playing his longest ever match at the tournament.

Juan Martin del Potro is the only player from the top half of the tournament, not losing a single set. "But anyway it's a good stat, it's something positive, it's something that shows I've been competitive on all surfaces in practically all the weeks I've played this year, and I'm happy about it".

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

Dominic Thiem has eliminated 2017 U.S. Open finalist Kevin Anderson with a 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (2) victory in the fourth round.

"He's a fantastic player. It was very painful‚" Thiem said.

"I definitely have more experience than him and that might have helped me in certain moments".

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"I just wish him all the very very best".

Anderson was hoping to earn a rematch with Nadal, who beat him past year in the South African's first Grand Slam final.

Thiem, this year's French Open runner-up, neutralized the 6-foot-8 Anderson's blistering serve by standing far beyond the baseline and he chased down everything the South African could throw at him.

Anderson broke Shapovalov in the third game of the fifth set and although he had to battle on his own serve several times in the course of the final set by staving off five break points‚ he took the match.

Nadal was more generous in describing his matches against Thiem, the first of which came back in 2014.

It has included brief two-set bouts and rugged three-setters, with seven wins for the "King of Clay", and an admirable three victories for his presumed successor.

Thiem was broken serving for the set and then could not hold on for the tie-break, saving two set points but not a third after planting a volley wide with the whole of the court available.

"On clay‚ I think it's one of the biggest challenges in sports to beat this guy or to compete with this guy".

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John Isner ground out yet another five-set win at the U.S. Open beating Milos Raonic 3-6 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-2 to advance to the quarter-finals of his home Grand Slam for the second time.

Thiem told reporters that his positioning on the court inside the newly-built Louis Armstrong Stadium was critical.

Basilashvili has had a strong showing in the tournament. "I hope to be ready to make that happen".

The US Open champion would not be denied and fired his seventh ace on match-point to end the 200-minute tussle.

But it was Nadal who set up a semi-final showdown Juan Martin del Potro, who beat John Isner earlier in the day, and he was apologetic after his win.

After nearly three and a half hours, the three-time victor at Flushing Meadows belatedly came through 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4 ahead of an encounter with French Open finalist Thiem.

On Sunday, he never faced a break point and hit 42 winners.

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Rafael Nadal reveals secret Dominic Thiem conversation after US Open win