'I'm very sorry': Nadal's classy words for shattered Thiem

Iron man Dominic Thiem celebrates after beating Kevin Anderson

Twenty-four hours after Roger Federer fell to John Millman, his old rival avoided following him out of the tournament, but only just, completing a 0-6 6-4 7-5 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (7/5) victory at 2.03am United States time.

When it was all over, Nadal was happy to be in a seventh US Open semifinal, but even happier that he'd done everything he could to turn the match around. "I hope that we have many more in the future with a different end". "But the personal satisfaction when you give everything and you play with the right attitude is the same".

Nadal was once again able to recover after going down a break, forcing the set to a tie-breaker.

It was Nadal's fourth time in 282 career Grand Slam matches when he started with a 6-0 loss.

"To be honest, I am very, very sorry for Dominic", he added. The quarterfinal exit marks the deepest run Thiem has made at a major other than Roland Garros.

What was most impressive in a match that featured brilliant shot-making and powerful, line-clipping groundstrokes over the course of almost five hours was that Thiem looked to be the fresher player compared to the 17-time Grand Slam champion who is known for his fight on the court. Nadal beat del Potro last year in the semifinals at Flushing Meadows, and again this year in the semifinals of the French Open. For the match, he hit 74 winners and 18 aces and stole six break points to Nadal's five. "But in a few days I will look back and will remember how great it was to play in front of a packed Arthur Ashe this great match". "But there has to be one".

The Spaniards semi-final opponent will be third-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, who beat American John Isner 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 earlier in the day.

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 top seed won just seven points in the opener.

"I told myself "wake up", said Nadal.

Most players would have been left deflated after falling behind in such a manner but Thiem was not in that category - the former world number four raising his game another level to take out the tie-break, having surrendered 3-1 and 4-2 leads against Nadal, who saved six break points in the set.

The popular third seed will now attempt to take a step he has not managed since winning his only grand slam title here nine years ago and reach another final. "I'm playing a lot of hours this year at this handsome stadium". "I mean, it's cruel sometimes tennis, because I think this match didn't really deserve a loser. Beating John in these kind of matches is like an epic, an epic match".

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

Nadal holds an 11-5 record against Del Potro. I don't want to lose against anybody.

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