Dominic Thiem has avenged his French Open final losses to Rafael Nadal, shocking the world No.1 to reach the last four at the Australian Open.
The Austrian fifth seed gave Nadal a taste of his own medicine at Melbourne Park, out-grinding the Spaniard 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (8-6) in a four-hour dogfight.
It was Thiem’s first win in a grand slam over Nadal after finishing runner-up to him in the past two Roland Garros deciders.
“I think all the match was on a very good level,” Thiem said after ending Nadal’s quest for a record-equalling 20th major title.
“We’re both in a great form and that was happening if we are both in great form, I think.
“We already had this epic match in New York two years ago. Today, I had really good feeling I was lucky in the right situation.
“(The) net court was really on my side.
“It’s necessary because he’s obviously one of the greatest of all-time. Biggest legends this sport has ever had.
“You need some luck to beat him.”
Thiem will now meet German young gun Alexander Zverev for a place in Sunday’s men’s final.
“I think it’s first time I’m playing grand slam semi-finals (when) I’m the older player. New situation,” he said.
“We’re great friends. I’m really happy that he plays his first semi-finals. But of course we both going to try our best.”