US Open: For the first time in his career, Rafael Nadal dropped his opening set at the US Open, but he was encouraged by his comeback victory over Rinky Hijikata.
After sustaining an abdominal strain at Wimbledon, Nadal is short on matches. Australian wild card Hijikata took advantage of this situation on Arthur Ashe Stadium by dominating the opening set.
But Nadal, who has yet to lose a major slam match this year, immediately answered and won the match with a score of 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-3, setting up a second-round showdown with veteran Fabio Fognini.
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Nadal said: “Obviously it was a tough match. I think I started not that bad the first couple of games but then I had some opportunities that I was not able to make.
“I think I didn’t play a good game with my serve. Then he had the break. Then I was a little bit nervous.
“First match here in New York after three years, night session, it’s always exciting. I went through this tough moment.
In 2015 at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Italian Fognini defeated Rafael Nadal in two sets to hand him his first major slam defeat.
Andrey Rublev, the ninth seed, and Jannik Sinner, the eleventh seed, each battled Laslo Djere and Daniel Altmaier over the course of five sets before winning.
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