Melbourne — Rafa Nadal paid the ultimate respect to his Australian Open conqueror Dominic Thiem on Wednesday, seeing something of himself in the hard-working Austrian after falling short in a quarterfinal classic under the lights on Rod Laver Arena.

Top seed Nadal exits Melbourne Park with some regrets, having had his chances against the 26-year-old Thiem who held on for a thrilling 7-6(3) 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(6) win, his first over the Spaniard after five previous losses at Grand Slams...

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