World No.1 Rafa Nadal said his five-set win over ninth seed Dominic Thiem to reach the US Open semi-finals had been ‘very demanding in all aspects’.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Nadal came from a set down to get past Thiem 0-6 6-4 7-5 6-7(4) 7-6(5) and set up a semi-final meeting against third-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina.
In an interview after his titanic battle, the 32-year-old Nadal gave credit to his opponent saying the match was very demanding in all aspects after nearly five hours on court.
“Yeah, very demanding in all aspects. Have been a very tough start for me. After that first set, then the match became more normal,” said Nadal. “Tough match against a great opponent.
“It has been physically demanding because the conditions have been tough out there, too. Not crazy, but tough. And, yes, I played against a great opponent. He played a good match.
“He’s a top guy, being honest. He’s one of the best guys on tour. He always plays and practices with a great attitude.”
When asked about facing Del Potro in the semi-final, Nadal said: He’s a great player everywhere. But the challenge of playing him on hard of course is even higher for me personally than playing against him on clay, like happened in Roland Garros. Even like this, I had a very lucky first set.
“It will be a big challenge. Is a match that we know each other very well. I know he’s playing well. I know that I will have to play at my highest level to keep having chances of success. I am focused on try to make that happen.
“I think last three sets I improved. I increased my level. Was a step forward for me in the dynamic of the tournament. So I did it. I hope to continue that way,” Nadal added.
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