Rafael Nadal Pulled One Out Of His Ass To Win A Nearly 5-Hour US Open Epic

Rafael Nadal has reached deep into the crevices of his own sphincter and pulled out another hot, steaming log of pure magic in a scintillating US Open quarterfinal matchup that took nearly as long as your average checkout shift at the supermarket.

[jwplayer uhR6V6TN]

Nadal survived a first set pantsing at the hands of 9th-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem to eventually emerge victorious in a gruelling five-set marathon, the final scoreline reading 0-6 6-4 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5).

Finishing at around 2am local time and clocking in at an eye-watering four hours and forty-nine minutes, it was by far and away the longest US Open match of Nadal’s storied career. The only thing preventing the arm-wrestle of a match from venturing further into the wee hours of the New York night was the quirk of US Open rules that allow for fifth-set tiebreakers; a rule unique as far as Grand Slams go, with the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon all playing to advantage in set five.

In bagelling Nadal in the first set, Thiem now holds the distinct and extremely unique record of being the only player to serve hold both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokivic at Grand Slams, after holding Novak to love in a set at the French Open last year. A feat he’s managed at just 25 years of age.

Additionally, this is just the fourth time in his entire career that Nadal has been bagelled at a Grand Slam. The last time it happened was at the 2015 Australian Open when Nadal was on the wrong end of a steamrolling from Tomáš Berdych in a straight-sets quarterfinal thrashing. The last time it happened at a US Open was was back in 2014, when an unseeded 18-year-old Nadal lost in the second round to Andy Roddick. In fact, this is the first time in his Grand Slam career that Nadal has copped a bagel in a set and managed to come back and win. A remarkable feat in and of itself.

In sweltering conditions, and with a celebrity-laden crowd watching on, this was easily the match of the tournament so far.

For his troubles, Nadal gets a well-deserved day off before tackling his semifinal matchup against third-seeded Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro.

Score the latest Australian sports news in AFL, NRL, tennis, NBA, soccer and more with Pedestrian.