‘This Was Epic’: Twitter Hails Nadal vs Thiem Clash in US Open

The reigning US Open champion and world number one endured a gruelling match against ninth-seeded Thiem, who swept the first set 6-0 on Tuesday night, reports EFE news agency.

In a gripping 4-hour 49-minute contest, which concluded at 2.04 a.m. on Wednesday, world number one Nadal won through to keep his bid for a fourth title in NY and 18th Grand Slam crown on track.

To boot, Nadal and Thiem's epic ended at 2:04 am, the seventh U.S. Open match in history to finish after 2 am, 22 minutes shy of the all-time record.

Thiem was also 5-3 ahead in the third set and 4-2 in the fourth before he was reeled in by Nadal, the three-time champion in NY.

Tennis great Rafael Nadal outlasted Dominic Thiem in an epic, grueling five-set quarterfinal, turning around his performance from a disastrous opening set to clinch the match in dramatic style. But once again Nadal stepped up the level, saved two break points in the game and then went on to claw back to 4-4.

Elsewhere, Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 champion, beat Borna Coric 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 to make the last-eight for a third successive year. It was a question of a little bit of luck at the end.

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.

"He's young, he has plenty of time to win big tournaments, and he has everything, no?" But Thiem saved all three break points before denying Nadal a fourth opportunity with a stunning volley at the end of a remarkable point. While both players stand close to the wall to return serve, estranged from the blue interior of the court, Nadal proved more successful coming forward in the middle stages of the match, and more successful at drawing Thiem forward.

"Forever I'm going to remember this match, for sure", Thiem said.

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. "The only true is that you have to be able to do things better to be able to fight for the point and fight for the match, no?"

"I don't think he's really sorry", said the 25-year-old. I know he's playing well. "The conditions were tough, humid". That mistake might have stayed in Nadal's head, because he played terribly in the ensuing tiebreaker. He played a good match.

Thiem came out swinging, and connecting; he hit five aces, 13 winners, and handed Nadal a rare bagel in the first set.

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

Isner paid tribute to Del Potro.