That's just what the 17-time Grand Slam champion did over the course of a 4-hour 49-minute epic that concluded at 2:04 a.m. on Wednesday, September 5.
Serving for the match, the Latvian raced out to triple match point and although Stephens saved two of them, Sevastova sealed the win when the 25-year-old American pushed a backhand into the net. "I was having a baby this time past year so I have nothing to prove". But the last time, against Philipp Kohlschreiber in Miami last spring, he fought back to win the match. "It was a very tough start, I tried to stay in the match in the second set", he said on court after securing passage to the semifinals. Dominic had 13 winners and just two unforced error and it was impossible for Nadal to keep that pace, losing serve at 15 in the opening game of the match after a forehand victor from Thiem. He's a great guy.
Nadal trailed by a break in the third set before taking it. "Keep going", the victor said of the embrace.
Those choruses resonated in the arena after key points, such as each time del Potro erased one of Isner's break chances, three in all.
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. I had the chance to really appreciate all the things that happened to me during my career because I had in different moments tough injuries.
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Both players suffered in the humid conditions under the floodlights at Arthur Ashe Stadium, but Del Potro fed off the energy of the crowd, including a group of his friends who have traveled from his hometown Tandil to cheer him on. Indeed, when Johnson won the third set to take a 2-1 lead, Thiem looked to be in trouble.
"Very demanding in all aspects", Nadal said later.
Thiem also remains the only member of the top 10 that Nadal has never tackled on a hard court. It's cruel sometimes tennis, because I think this match didn't really deserve a loser. I played some good ones before, but not that long, not that long against the great guys on the grand slam stage. "I like this feeling, but at the same time you feel exhausted after that", Nadal said. The fifth set brought a great tennis as well, with Thiem saving two break points at 2-2 to remain on the positive side of the scoreboard.
And, as the tense match went on, the French professional tennis player seemed to get more emotional.
It's Theim's best ever performance at a US Open, but commentator John McEnroe says the Austrian will need to dig deep to come back from this defeat.
Nadal ran into an inspired opponent for the second match in a row and was put through his paces by Nikoloz Basilashvili before eventually coming through 6-3, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4.