Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem underlined that you have to be at your best and deliver a huge performance if you want to have a chance at beating world No. 1 Rafael Nadal. Thiem, seeded at No. 5, defeated top-seeded Nadal 7-6 (3) 7-6 (4) 4-6 7-6 (6) to reach his maiden Australian Open semifinal.
Thiem was playing great tennis throughout the match but the mental strength he showed was also one of the key reasons behind his first Grand Slam win over Nadal. At six all in the fourth set tie-break, Thiem hit an outstanding passing shot to earn his third match point -- which he converted a minute later.
"If you want to have a chance again him (Nadal), one of the all time greats, everything needs to work in your game. The defensive game also needs to work in some key moments like six all in the fourth set tie-break when my defensive game really worked...
There was a great passing shot. It needs to be there to beat players like him," Thiem told reporters after beating Nadal.
• Rafael Nadal's last tennis life: in Australian on the border between utopia and dream• Rafael Nadal issues huge statement on Abdullah Shelbayh's talent • Courier shares a massive prediction: "Djokovic will win the 2024 Australian Open"• Rafael Nadal reveals his comeback plan - the return gets closer!• Younes El Aynaoui recounts beating Rafael Nadal, his thoughts when he first met him• Next Gen Abdullah Shelbayh tells how Rafael Nadal inspired his switch to left hand