After nearly five hours on a humid court, he knew it would be a difficult loss for whichever one of them was eliminated, and he continued to express his sympathy for Thiem.
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. After dropping the first set, 6-0, in a lackadaisical performance, Nadal fought back throughout the 4-hour 49-minute match to ultimately win, 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5).
When it was finally over after 2 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning, Nadal and Thiem, clearly exhausted, walked over to each other for a hug, some words and a touching moment of class and sportsmanship at the net.