Tennis

‘Otherworldly tennis’: Nadal, Thiem epic into fifth set

World No.1 Rafael Nadal is eyeing off another grand slam semi-final spot.

THE US Open has entered the quarter-final stage — with some of the tournament’s biggest names falling by the wayside.

That list includes the great Roger Federer, who was upset by Australia’s John Millman on Tuesday.

Now Spanish giant Rafael Nadal and Austrian upstart Dominic Thiem will hope to avoid a similar fate when they meet with a semi-final spot on the line.

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Nadal struggled in the heat early, as he lost the first set 6-0. Picture: AP

Nadal struggled in the heat early, as he lost the first set 6-0. Picture: APSource:AP

Earlier, Serena Williams steamrolled rival Kristina Pliskova 6-4 6-3 having been well and truly on the ropes early.

Williams fell behind 4-2 in the first set and looked out of sorts – before rattling off eight straight games to turn the quarter-final on its head.

She will next face Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, who upset defending champion Sloane Stephens 6-2 6-3 to reach her first grand slam semi-final.

Serena Williams defeated Karolina Pliskova in straight sets to book her spot in the semi-finals. Picture: Capital Pictures

Serena Williams defeated Karolina Pliskova in straight sets to book her spot in the semi-finals. Picture: Capital PicturesSource:Mega

In the men’s draw, Juan Martin del Potro reached the semi-finals for the third time in the past five grand slams after coming through a gruelling quarter-final battle with John Isner.

The two big men battered each other to near exhaustion in the heat and humidity in Arthur Ashe Stadium but it was the Argentine third seed who proved the stronger in a 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory that lasted three-and-a-half hours.

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Originally published as ‘Otherworldly tennis’: Nadal on top in US epic

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