When Thiem finally broke down, with a botched smash on match point, the clock showed 2.04am in NY and the match duration was 4 hours 49 minutes, making it Nadal's longest ever match at Flushing Meadows.
The semi-final will pit Nadal against third seed and 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro for the second successive Grand Slam tournament.
It was a hot, brutal marathon match, and things looked bleak for Rafael Nadal early on in his U.S. Open quarterfinal battle against Austrian player Dominic Thiem.
Nadal was completely dismantled by Thiem in the first set as the American crowd was shocked into silence in NY, the Austrian hitting vaporising forehands and backhands to wrap up the opener in just 24 minutes - tallying 13 winners, five aces and 24 points in total compared to just seven from the former.
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The Game - who also runs his own charity organization, The Robin Hood Project for families in need - can't say whether he thinks it'll happen but he does have hope that they might.
With the World No. 9 having never met Nadal in any surface other than the red dirt in 10 meetings, it was hard to envisage how the match would unfold.
Rafael Nadal acknowledged he was fortunate to claim a thrilling US Open quarter-final victory over Dominic Thiem, who he conceded did everything possible to claim victory. It was only the third time in the Open era that a men's No. 1 seed won a match after being bageled in the opening set. While Thiem clearly made the big winners, Nadal just knew when to raise his level by just a solitary notch, that awarded him the win.
"The way it ended up in the fifth set tiebreaker, from there it's 50-50. Tough match against a great opponent".
Rusedski is also adamant that Thiem has to show a lot of belief if he's going to overcome the world No 1.
Nadal has reached at least the quarter-finals in all four Grand Slams this year - the first time he has achieved the feat since 2011. He is a fighter with a great attitude so that is the most important thing.
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"I don't think he's really sorry", said the 25-year-old.
Nadal evened the match by breaking in the final game of the second set.
"It has been physically demanding because the conditions have been tough out there, too".
Stiller felt the intensity of the match and was often seen displaying the kind of nerves he had while taking his lie detector test in "Meet the Parents".
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Del Potro's victory was no walk in the park either, the Argentinian battling through strength-sapping heat and humidity to win 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 7-6 (7/4) 6-2.