United States Open: Nadal overthrows Fognini despite a blow to the nose

United States Open: Nadal knocks down Fognini despite a blow to the nose


Author of a catastrophic start to the match and despite a racket hit in the nose, Rafael Nadal, 3rd in the world, overthrew the Italian Fabio Fognini (60th) 2-6, 6-4, 6 -2, 6-1, Thursday in the 2nd round of the US Open.

“It was one of the worst starts of my career. I'm still here and that means a lot to me,” commented Nadal. “But it was not a good match”, he insisted.

Faced with the first player to have managed to go up two sets against him in Grand Slam to finally beat him, in 2015 already at Flushing Meadows, the 36-year-old Mallorcan was out for a set and a half, until trailing 6-2, 4-2.

To get there, he committed an avalanche of unforced errors and the “vamos”, “go ahead” or other advice from his coach Carlos Moya (coaches are authorized to speak to players during matches on the occasion of this United States Open) seemed to have nothing to do with it, Nadal was sinking.

And yet he then turned the tide to tie a set all and come away 3-1 in the third set , Fognini's nonchalance earned him in turn committing unforced errors in spades.

“I tried to play a little better, anyway it couldn't be worse,” he commented, explaining that he concentrated on putting more balls in the court to regain confidence before accelerating. .

“These kind of matches happen, but hopefully not too often,” he added.

“I was a little knocked out”< /strong>

A very bad service game on his part allowed Fognini to unbreak to come back to 3-2, but it was only a brief miss for the 'Spanish who started again.

He then seemed to be heading for a quiet victory, but an incident almost changed the course of the game again as Nadal led 3-0 in the 4th set: on a backhand extension, his racket bounced on the ground and he was back in the face. Half stunned, bleeding from the bridge of his nose, the Spaniard lay down, eyes closed, time to get treatment on the court.

“I was a little stunned and that hurt a little,” he said. “It had happened to me before with a golf club, but never with a tennis racket!”

He resumed play, a bandage on his nose, and took a few minutes and a few exchanges to get back into the game, but Fognini was unable to take advantage of it.

In the third round, the Spaniard with 22 Grand Slam titles (record) will face the Frenchman Richard Gasquet (91st) against whom he never lost in 17 meetings on the main circuit.

“Never mind the past, it's a chance for both of us to advance to the round of 16 and I will have to play a little more at the level I play in training,” Nadal said.