Published: Wed, September 05, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Rafael Nadal reveals secret Dominic Thiem conversation after US Open win

Rafael Nadal reveals secret Dominic Thiem conversation after US Open win

Nadal had only lost a set 6-0 at a grand slam on three previous occasions - the 2015 Australian Open, 2006 Wimbledon and the 2004 US Open.

The world number one looked like he would cruise to an easy win after pocketing the first two sets but the Georgian stepped up his game to take the third. But Thiem saved all three break points before denying Nadal a fourth opportunity with a stunning volley at the end of a remarkable point.

Top-seeded Nadal followed a thrilling upset bid from Karen Khachanov in the third round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (8-6), 6-4 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili in the fourth round on Sunday. "It was a great battle".

Nadal said: "Two matches in a row very tough ones".

The competition will only continue to get tougher, though, and he faces 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals after the Argentine defeated John Isner earlier on Tuesday.

Now Thiem will try to beat Nadal for the fourth time, saying of their previous matches: "It was three very nice experiences and six terrible experiences. I could go far back at the return, which helped me, which is a little bit like on clay, and this was also a little bit of an advantage today". Nadal again found himself struggling to cope with a powerful display from an underdog opponent, as Basilashvili unleashed one of the most ferocious broadsides seen in these parts since the Battle of Brooklyn Heights.

With the courts playing quite slowly, he should have the time to continue taking big cuts against Nadal and he will need to.

More news: Final farewell to Aretha Franklin

The disappointment of failing to create a first match point seemed to weigh on him in the tiebreak and he played it dreadfully, showing rare confusion in going 0-3 down and then losing it 7-4.

So far, their rivalry has been contested exclusively on clay, with Nadal leading the Austrian 7-3 head-to-head.

Thiem will next play either world number one Rafael Nadal, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in another pre-quarterfinal. The sixth seed had dropped sets in the opening two rounds against Marton Fucsovics and Tennys Sandgren, but there were no slip-ups in the third round as he saved all of the five break points he faced. And also the court‚ I think‚ made a big difference.

"This crowd kept me in it it was fantastic", Isner said in an on-court interview after the three hour and eight-minute match. I'm able to compete with anyone out there, as I showed today.

John Isner, the top-seeded American man at No. 11, served 20 aces in outlasting Milos Raonic of Canada 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. The first quarter-final matches will be played tomorrow. "To win in straight sets in every round is good for the body and physical condition", said Del Potro popularly referred to as DelPo.

Dominic fends off a couple of break points in game six to remain in front but he wasted a game point at 4-3 to lose serve after a big backhand error, letting Rafa level the score at 4-4.

Like this: