'Defeat will stay with me forever,' says devastated Thiem

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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.

Asked about the match, the three-time US Open champion added: 'Suffering is the right word. "It was a real battle".

"Yeah, of course, I played a lot of long and tough matches in my career". For me it was... He's a great guy, a close friend who will have many more opportunities to win the big titles.

"Yeah, it's going to be stuck in my mind forever", Thiem said after the match.

It was a grueling and see-sawing battle in the third, but Nadal continued his comeback to take a two-sets-to-one lead, having been down a break at 5-4.

There are no chill Rafael Nadal matches, like oh cool, I'll watch some tennis and my blood pressure will stay level. He walked quietly to the center of the court, then stepped over the net and embraced 25-year-old Dominic Thiem. The fourth set followed a similar playbook, Thiem taking the early lead and a resolute Nadal (on his fifth break point of the frame) finally drawing even. And Thiem, the only man to beat Nadal on clay for the last two seasons, set about showing his opponent he meant serious business in his first Grand Glam quarter-final outside of the French Open. It was in the fifth and final set of the game that the Spaniard showed his prowess and overpowered a rampant Austrian 7-6, advancing to the semi-finals of the US Open.

Nadal, who was on court for four hours and 48 minutes in a tie which finished at 2.04am local time in NY (7.04am BST), commented on the humidity of the playing conditions that has troubled so many players in this year's Open, and broke down his performance.

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"If we skip the first set, it was a really open match from beginning to the end". In fact, Nadal never faced match point, and Thiem faced only one all night. He has everything. He's a fighter, he has a great attitude so that's the most important thing.

"I'm not sorry. I'm just sorry for my legs". "It's good to have now two days [without a match] that probably give me the chance to be 100 per cent in the semi-finals".

The semifinal will pit Nadal against third seed and 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro for the second successive Grand Slam. 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.

Though the match was played in the night session, allowing Nadal and Thiem to avoid the searing daytime temperatures that have had a significant impact on the tournament, the ninth seed still felt the conditions played their part.

He said: "I have my trophy at home". And, yes, I played against a great opponent.

Nadal had said he was sorry to defeat to Thiem, who joked: "I don't think he's really sorry". It is the first time he won a match after that kind of start. "I don't want to lose against anybody, but now I wish him the title the most, that's for sure".