NEW YORK (AP) — Rafael Nadal lower himself on the bridge of his nostril along with his personal racket when it ricocheted off the court docket on the follow-through from a shot, leaving himself bloodied and dizzy throughout his second-round victory on the U.S. Open.
Play was delayed for about 5 minutes throughout a medical timeout within the fourth set of what would develop into a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 win in opposition to Fabio Fognini at Arthur Ashe Stadium in a match that started Thursday evening and completed after midnight on Friday.
It made for a weird, and briefly scary, scene, as Nadal instantly grimaced, dropped his racket, put a palm to his face after which put each fingers on his head. Not less than Nadal might joke about it afterward throughout his on-court interview.
Requested whether or not he’d ever had that occur earlier than, he mustered a chuckle and replied: “With a golf membership however not with a tennis racket.”
How was he feeling?
“Nicely, just a bit bit dizzy firstly,” mentioned Nadal, who has gained 4 of his 22 Grand Slam titles on the U.S. Open, most not too long ago in 2019, the final time he entered the hard-court event. “Somewhat bit painful.”
The episode got here on the primary level of the sport with Nadal main 3-0 within the fourth set and clearly in command after ceding the opening set for the second match in a row this week.
The 36-year-old from Spain was shifting to his proper when he hit a backhand. After making contact with the ball, his racket deflected off the bottom and smacked him on the nostril.
He went over to the sideline and layed down, ready for the coach, and Fognini went over to examine on Nadal. After having a bandage placed on his nostril, Nadal resumed play. He would lose that recreation, however not one other, bettering to 21-0 in Grand Slam matches in 2022.
Nadal gained the Australian Open in January and the French Open in June for his 14th title there, then made it to the Wimbledon semifinals in July earlier than the belly problem pressured him to withdraw (which doesn’t go into the books as a loss).
The match in opposition to Fognini, who beat him on the 2015 U.S. Open, didn’t start auspiciously for Nadal. His pictures had been off and he shortly fell behind.
“For multiple hour and a half, I used to be not competing,” Nadal mentioned. “One of many worst begins, in all probability, ever.”
The second set was hardly a factor of magnificence for both man, full of poor play by each: They mixed for 39 unforced errors and merely 9 winners, seven service breaks and solely three holds.
“I used to be fortunate, actually, that Fabio made some errors in that second set,” Nadal acknowledged.
When Nadal dumped a backhand into the web, Fognini broke to steer 3-2, then went forward 4-2. However from there, it was Fognini who faltered, lacking 4 pictures in a row to get damaged at love as a part of a four-game run by Nadal to make it a set apiece.
Within the third, Nadal got here up with one notably excellent shot — a forehand on the run that redirected an overhead by Fognini and despatched it down the road for a winner to interrupt for 4-2. Nadal’s momentum carried him proper to the sting of the stands, the place hundreds had been on their toes, and he punched the air and yelled, “Vamos!”
Not lengthy after, that set belong to Nadal, too, and he would acquire 16 of the final 19 video games.
Extra AP protection of U.S. Open tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/us-open-tennis-championships and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports