The favorite of the U.S. tennis internationals, Rafael Nadal, took 4 hours and 49 minutes to finally dispose of Dominic Thiem, Wednesday morning, and thus qualify for the ACE quadrant of the last Grand Slam tournament of the season.

The 32-year-old Spaniard fell hard in the first set, 0-6, before winning the next two, 6-4, 7-5 and giving up the fourth set 6-7 (4). He finally defeated his Austrian opponent in the decisive round, 7-6 (5), a few minutes after the 2-hour shot.

Dominic Thiem, ranked 9th favorite, was a very tough opponent for the reigning champion of the tournament. The total points of this quarter-final match, he also harvested a total of 171, five more than Rafael Nadal.

After winning the tie break, Nadal crossed the net at Arthur-Ashe Stadium to hug his 25-year-old opponent for a long time and give him a few words of encouragement. Later, at a press conference, he described Dominic Thiem as a close friend and a great player.

Rafael Nadal is looking for a fourth Conquest at Flushing Meadows and an 18th Grand Slam title in his career.

Friday, he will face in the semifinals the Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, ranked third favorite, who defeated the Canadian Milos Raonic, the American John Isner, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 quarterfinals.