Rafael Nadal falls to Dominic Thiem in Australian Open quarterfinals

The Australian Open semifinals are now set, but No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal won’t be advancing. On Wednesday, the Spaniard fell 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(6) at the hands of No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem.

Thiem became the second Austrian male or female to ever reach the semifinals of the Australian Open.

It was a very even contest out of the gate as Nadal and Thiem alternated winning games and were even tied 5-5 late in the opening set. However, after going to a tiebreaker, Thiem was able to top Nadal to take the first set.

In the second set, Nadal fared a little better in the early going and was able to take a 4-2 advantage. But Thiem was victorious in three consecutive games and the set was tied 6-6. Eventually, Nadal lost the tiebreaker and found himself in a big hole.

Nadal certainly didn’t give up in the third set, as he won the set without going to tiebreaker for the first time in the match. The fourth set also went to a tiebreaker and Nadal gave it all he had, but it wasn’t enough. Thiem came out on top with a 7-6 victory and won the match, which lasted over four hours.

It marked the first time that Nadal ever dropped three tiebreakers in one match, but he was not mad at himself.

“He’s (Thiem) playing with a lot of energy… and determination. So well done for him,” Nadal said after the match, according to ESPN. “I honestly didn’t play a bad match.”

Thiem moves on to face No. 7 seed Alexander Zverev in the Australian Open semifinals, which take place on Thursday. The Austrian had nothing but praise for Nadal.

“He is one of the greatest of all time, one of this sport’s biggest legends,” Thiem said about Nadal.

In the other semifinal matchup, No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic will take on No. 3 seed Roger Federer in what promises to be an entertaining battle.

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