Rafael Nadal sad for ‘top guy’ Dominic Thiem as Austrian laments cruel result
Rafael Nadal admits he felt “sorry” for Dominic Thiem after their epic US Open quarter-final while the Austrian admitted the defeat will stay with him “forever”.
It was a tough defeat for the ninth seed as he blew Nadal away in the first by bagelling him, but the defending champion responded and eventually claimed a 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-5) victory in four hours and 49 minutes.
“It was very demanding in all aspects. It was a very tough start for me. After that first set, then the match became more normal. A tough match against a great opponent,” 17-time Grand Slam winner Nadal said.
“It was physically demanding because the conditions were tough out there, too. And I played against a great opponent. He played a good match. Sorry for him. He’s a top guy.
“I’m sad for him because when this moment arrived, he did all the things well to win the match.”
Sportsmanship of the highest caliber…
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2018
Thiem says he hopes Nadal now goes on to win this year’s US Open, but admits the defeat is a bitter one to swallow.
“I don’t think he’s really sorry,” said the 25-year-old. “I mean, he’s a great guy. I don’t want to lose against anybody. But now I wish him the title the most, that’s for sure.”
He added: “It’s going to be stuck in my mind forever. I’m going to remember this match, for sure. Tennis is cruel sometimes, because I think this match didn’t really deserve a loser. But there has to be one.
“And I would say if we skip the first set, [it] was a really open match from the beginning to the end. The way it ended up in the fifth set tiebreaker, there it’s 50/50.”
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