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This is a rematch of the French Open final, won by Nadal in June.

The reigning US Open champion will meet another veteran, the Argentine 2009 victor Juan Martin del Potro, in the next round. Nadal was sweating so much in the 90-degree heat and 50-per cent humidity that a mountain of white towels formed next to his changeover bench.

"Of course, tennis is not forever".

Having looked the more tired of the two, it was Nadal who was applying the greater pressure and at 5-5, 0-40 it seemed this was his chance. "The conditions were tough, very humid for me". "When the things happens like this, the atmosphere and the crowd become more special". They have more value, more personal value, when you come back from tough moments, no? "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. "I hope that we have many more in the future with a different end". "I told myself "wake up", said Nadal.

Spanish star Nadal - facing his fellow seed away from clay for the first time after 10 previous meetings - was 30-29 when losing the first set at a major but he rediscovered his best form to level the match, rising to the challenge by converting both break-point chances - having earned none in the first set - to halt the red-hot Thiem. Nadal looked poised to serve for the match holding a 40-0 lead in the game that included a double fault.

"Being honest I am just very, very sorry for Dominic". "I'm happy that I did this for the first time, even if it went the wrong way. But in few days I will look back and will remember how great it was to play in front of a packed Arthur Ashe - this great match".

Thiem broke three times in a 24-minute first set on Tuesday, handing Nadal just his third "bagel" at a Grand Slam. Nadal after worst start with the loss of 6-0 bounced back to beat No. 9 Dominic Thiem with 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) at a third consecutive Grand Slam tournament.

With a heat wave striking NY and temperatures crossing 27 degrees at night, it appeared that Nadal would see off the tie with a four-set victory but Thiem's seemed to have found his mojo once again.

"If he allows Nadal to control the point, he will be second best". He had 24 backhand winners in the match out of 74 winners overall compared to Nadal's 55, but the Spaniard was able to close when it counted.

The popular third seed will now attempt to take a step he has not managed since winning his only grand slam title here nine years ago and reach another final.

"When Thiem has beaten Rafa, he's taken the serve early", Rusedski said on Amazon's Prime coverage when giving his thoughts before the match.

"Tennis is sometimes cruel, this game didn't deserve a loser but there has to be one and, if we skip the first set, we were well matched from start to finish", he noted.

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