Rafael Nadal drops first set but rallies to defeat Rinky Hijikata at US Open Fourth Round
Rafael Nadal, a three-time champion at the US Open, was given a short break in his first-round match against Janko Tipsarevic of Bosnia, who had already won two previous meetings at the tournament in 2000 and 2001.
Nadal, in his 11th year as a professional, began well on Friday, winning his opening service game, but was unable to make much more of a difference with his second serve.
Tipsy, who took only two points from the opening two sets, eventually recovered to take a 4-2 lead, but Nadal came back to win the next six games to edge ahead 6-4 in the deciding set.
The Serb, who has not lost a match in over two years, needed a comeback on the serve of Joachim Johansson of Germany.
Tipsy served to 15-40 down, but Nadal fought back, breaking Johansson’s serve.
Nadal then went on to win three in a row, including the decisive seventh straight set.
“I’m happy with my preparation,” Nadal was quoted by Spanish media.
“In the end I had to adjust and try to get a little more aggressive so that I can attack the rallies.
“In my last match against Joachim I had a chance to win the match, but I was a little bit too conservative.
“In the end I was able to adapt and I was able to win.”
The American had already won his next game.
In the second round of the singles, the world number two lost as he had in the first set to Sjeng Schalken of Netherlands, whom he beat 6-0, 6-1 on Friday.
The former world number one came close to matching Johansson in the ninth game of the decider, only to lose the point.
In the third round, he was then beaten on Thursday to world number four Gilles Muller from Switzerland 6-3, 6-1 in