Rafael Nadal admitted he had to ‘wake’ himself up after a disastrous start to his quarter-final showdown with Dominic Thiem.
Nadal was bageled in the first set, as the Austrian Thiem trounced the world number one 0-6, much to the amazement of the crowd.
However, the world number one would battle back to take a 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(5) victory, setting up a semi-final meeting with world number three Juan Martin del Potro.
Reging US Open champion and four-time winner of the tournament Nadal was asked about what he told himself in response to the shocking opening set.
“Wake up, that’s all”, Nadal said.
“It was a very tough start and then all I was thinking was to finish the first set. Forget about this start and I just tried to win a couple of points and a couple of games.
“That is what happened. I started to find my rhythm and then the match became more equal.
“I always have the passion to play one more point, to take one more ball and it is always the same history.
“Point by point, game by game, set by set and then match by match. I just keep going always.
“You need one more always and give that little bit more. That’s the only way I am able to be where I am today.”
Nadal was on court for four hours and 48 minutes in a tie which finished at 2.04am local time in New York (7.04am BST), and the world number one thanked those who stayed to watch his victory.
“It has been an amazing feeling playing a lot of hours this year on this beautiful stadium,” Nadal said.
“It does not bother me, it just bothers my legs. I am very happy and thank you for all the support. Without you it would have been impossible to win the match.”