Rafael Nadal Makes U.S. Open History With Quarterfinal Win Over Dominic Thiem, Sets Up Semifinal Vs. Del Potro [VIDEO]
The top-seeded Spaniard and defending champion at Arthur Ashe Stadium beat his ninth-seeded Austrian opponent 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-5) in the longest contest of the 2018 U.S. Open thus far. The match lasted four hours and 49 minutes, and ended just after 2 a.m. EST.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2018
Nadal, 32, will next face No. 3-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in Friday’s first men’s semifinal.
The Spaniard’s victory was even more significant because he made history while reaching it. Nadal — a 17-time Grand Slam champion and three-time U.S. Open winner — is the first player in the tournament’s history to win a match after dropping the opening set 6-0, according to the Express. Not even superstar Roger Federer — who is out of this year’s U.S. Open after losing in the fourth round — has ever been able to accomplish this.
However, Nadal is not the first tennis star to achieve this feat in a Grand Slam event. Gaston Guaudio beat Guillermo Coria at the 2004 French Open 0-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 8-6.
Nadal appears to have the edge to beat del Potro — the 2009 U.S. Open champion — on Friday, as the Spaniard has defeated the Argentine in 11 of their previous 16 matches. Nadal eliminated del Potro in New York in 2017, and also beat him in this year’s Wimbledon and French Open tournaments.
On the women’s side, Serena Williams beat eighth-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesay to reach the semifinals, while defending champion Sloane Stephens was eliminated after losing 2-6, 3-6 to No. 19-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia.