Rafael Nadal overcomes Fabio Fognini in four sets in US Open second round
Nadal outlasts French star Rafael Nadal in four sets to reach the second round of the US Open for the 13th time in his career.
Nadal, who was out of action for several years due to injury, prevailed in a fourth-set tiebreak over compatriot Fabio Fognini to set up a meeting with John Isner, the world’s No 5 seed.
“I had big goals, which I couldn’t reach in the first match, but I wanted to be in the second round,” Nadal said. “I am very happy, and it’s a good start for my next matches.”
Nadal broke Fognini twice to lead 5-2 in the decider, and closed out the match with a backhand ace for his third match point in a row.
Fognini was beaten by his compatriot Nicolas Almagro in 2005, while Isner was knocked out in the first round in 2013 by Tomas Berdych.
“I won’t read too much into what happened,” said John Isner, who is bidding to be the first British man to reach the final in his sport.
“I love to play against the world’s top players, and I try to do this as often as possible, but they have to do something to knock me out.
“You have to make it to the quarters from here and play well, and then start to do a lot better than what you’ve done all year.”
The US Open has been the main stage in tennis since 1958, but its history of producing the best players continued on Monday with the first round of the men’s competition.
Kirsten Flipkens will be on the biggest stage in tennis, as the world No 5 faces the winner of today’s clash between the two world No 1s, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The world No 22, who has not dropped a set over the first two rounds, will hope to improve her record in this