Published: Sun, September 09, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

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

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

After barely getting through a almost 4 1/2-hour test in the third round, and having tape wrapped under his right knee, too, defending champion Rafael Nadal tries to get back to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows by beating 37th-ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili.

"It's been a great battle", an exhausted Nadal said.

"I have a very good relationship with him".

However, it was world number 37 Basilashvili's strength which proved his undoing.

Basilashvili only managed to convert two of his seven break point opportunities and committed 59 unforced errors to Nadal's 19 on a partly cloudy day at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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.

The fifth set was very tight, with Thiem saving two break points at 2-2 and again saved three more at 5-5 for the match to go on to be decided by a tiebreaker, which Nadal won 7-5 to reach the semi-finals and stay on course to defend his title.

The world No. 1 had lost a set 6-0 at a Grand Slam on only three previous occasions - the 2015 Australian Open, 2006 Wimbledon and the 2004 U.S. Open.

For the second night in a row, the end of The Tennis Podcast had to be recorded at past 2am in NY in order to cover the thrilling events of the US Open night session. I think we nearly all the time have great matches.

His progress to the last-eight in NY comes despite choosing to play European clay court events after Wimbledon before then losing his only summer hard court outing in Cincinnati to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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He is the first Austrian in the last-eight at the US Open since Thomas Muster in 1996.

"Very demanding in all aspects", Nadal said of his triumph at a post-match media conference. "I don't know if I can get a new one, but I'm doing all my best to try to get it again". "I'm sure he will have his chances in the future".

"But every round is a battle".

"I did a very bad set".

Remarkably, Thiem was the first top-20 player Nadal has faced at Flushing Meadows since his final win over Novak Djokovic in 2013, with last year's title seeing him take on a succession of unexpected opponents.

Isner was trying to become the first American man to reach the U.S. Open semifinals since Andy Roddick in 2006.

"There were a lot of ups and downs in the match. Beating John in these kind of matches is like an epic, an epic match".

And while the brutal straight sets thrashing at Roland Garros would've hurt, there was a belief this defeat, especially after his flawless first set, would've stung even more.

"It's a dream coming true", said Thiem.

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