Nadal solves a problem

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Nadal solves a problem

The Spaniard solves one of his worst matches in a long time to advance to the third round of the US Open

Complicated night for Rafael Nadal in New York. An evening I haven’t seen in a long time, with a lot of unforced mistakes, with many lost services, with a wound in the nose and with the feeling that the tournament could end here. A difficult night, which nevertheless Nadal managed to push through to the third round of the US Open against the always difficult Fabio Fognini (2-6, 6-4, 6-2 and 6-1).

The Spaniard, who made no less than 37 unforced mistakes, threatened to scare a set and a half, his worst tennis period in many months and even years. Fognini, 35 years old and already with nothing to lose or prove, pulled in the screws without a great level, but then questioned a Nadal who lost his serve twice in the first set and made 11 mistakes in that set. . for just three winning shots.

There was fear for Nadal’s condition, especially when he asked for the physio’s presence on the track because of a blister on his finger which thankfully was a scare. Manacor’s was distracted, out of the game, with his head elsewhere, and his tennis was unresponsive. This allowed Fognini, without a great level, to take a 4-2 lead in the second set, two games from two sets, a disadvantage the Spaniard has overcome only four times in his career, never at the US Open.

The danger was real as Nadal didn’t even see the initiative and had to cut a string of four breaks in a row to straighten the game. It seemed like an anecdote, simple serve and go 4-3, but it was essential to turn the game around completely.

Fognini’s head came off and Nadal roared to get up. Not much, as his tennis continued to scratch at a low level, but by picking up the pace a bit he was able to push off a Fognini and have it in his hand to deliver a major blow to the Balearic Islands. The Italian’s advantage disappeared and Nadal resurfaced to win four games in a row 4-2 and tie the game. The set had been abysmal, with 39 unforced errors between the two, but Nadal managed.

And that was the point. Fognini disappeared, Nadal withstood the attack and maintained an average level, enough to make the comeback. The Manacorense’s match went from thirteen games to two until halfway through the fourth set, already with the game under control, 2 sets to 1 and 3-0, when another setback came. After being hit, his racket bounced off the ground, hitting him in the nose and opening a wound in his septum. He had to throw the racket on the floor and lie down so that the physio could nurse him and bandage the wound. A bit of a scare to complete one of the most complicated games in memory.

Nadal saved him and he is in the third round of the US Open, where he takes on Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who knocked out Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. It will be the 18th meeting of the Gasquet-Nadal rivalry, with an impressive 17-0 in favor of the Spaniard, who defeated him for the last time at Roland Garros 2021 and who hasn’t lost a set to him since Montreal 2008. then Nadal has won 31 consecutive sets against Gasquet.

Source: La Verdad

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