Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open campaign has been brought to a screeching halt in the quarter-finals at the hands of Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem.
Thiem had never beaten Nadal in a Grand Slam, but turned it around on Wednesday night at Rod Laver Arena as he recorded a 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 victory to knock out the World No 1.
In what was arguably the match of the tournament, the two men traded heavy shots throughout the entirety of the four-hour war, and Nadal was left seeing red on multiple occasions throughout the contest.
In the opening set Nadal voiced his frustration with the chair umpire after being rushed through in between games and not having enough time on his chair to cool down in the warm conditions.
Air conditioner units have been attached to the players’ benches to help ease the warmth, but Nadal wasn’t happy with his not cooling him down enough.
But it was in the second set when the Spaniard was his angriest, after being hit with a time violation after the service clock wound all the way down to zero before he had begun his service motion.