Rafael Nadal overcame a bad start and a bloody nose to beat Fabio Fognini 2/6, 6/4, 6/2 and 6/1 to advance to the third round of the US Open on Thursday.
The Italian veteran started well and opened 4/2, while Nadal couldn’t find his rhythm, increasing the possibility of Fognini coming back to surprise as he did against the Spaniard on the court Arthur Ashe seven years ago.
Rafa turns on the jets to blow past Fognini. pic.twitter.com/QXjwqvw0wP
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 2, 2022
Nadal regained control and looked close to winning when, while leading 3/0 in the fourth set, his racket bounced off the ground and hit him in the nose.
This led to a medical time in which the 22-time Grand Slam champion lay on his back with his eyes closed while a bandage was applied to stop the bleeding.
Nadal overcame the incident and, with the support of the crowd, sealed victory on Fognini’s 60th unforced error to end the ugly match in which the players recorded 11 double faults.
“For over an hour and a half I wasn’t competing. It was probably one of my worst starts, but it’s part of the game,” Nadal said in an interview on the court. “You have to accept the situation. It hasn’t been easy months for me and these things can happen. Staying alive after a game like this means a lot.”
Nadal’s next opponent is Richard Gasquet, who defeated Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6/2, 6/4 4/6 and 6/4. Nadal has an 18-0 record against the Frenchman.
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Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News