US Open (Men)
Posted | The
Rafael Nadal had to fight four and a half hours to bring down an excellent Karen Khachanov (5-7, 7-5, 7-6), 7-6), Friday in the third round of the US Open.
After two first caps had passed without problems, Rafael Nadal had to work for the first time in two weeks on Friday at Flushing Meadows: Karen Khachanov, 22, has indeed given cold sweat to the Mallorcaan, who got a set for nothing, was in the second broke and had to tear to win the deciding game in the third inning, after the tension. But the world number 1 has not slumped and will be good in the round of 16, where he will compete against Nikoloz Basilashvili (No. 37).
Nadal soon realized that it would be a complicated task if he missed the break (2-0) after missing two balls and put the Russian ahead. The Spaniard, with a monstrous defense, will save three set balls, but he will allow the fourth, leaving Khachanov, who had never taken a set to "Rafa" in four clashes, sat at the buttons. An advantage that he will confirm by applying a new white break (7-5, 3-1).
Nadal, a big reaction but a fragile knee
At that moment Nadal seemed to have doubts: he tended to do too much, chained mistakes, sometimes rude, and seemed to be on the abyss when Khachanov had served for the second set of wins (5-4). But the titleholder then suddenly accelerated and offered the last three games in the set, including two breaks, to return to the level. The game was then balanced and even if the Russian struggled with his service games when Nadal was faster, the two men went to the tie-break.
The world's number 1 saw his opponent find unlikely means to save the three set balls after leading 6-3 and then a fourth with a powerful overhead shot. Las: A double error ended up causing his hope, and Nadal flew after an incredible collection of 39 shots that ignited the Arthur-Ashe Stadium. After the break, the triple winner thought he had won the game … but he allowed a white break when he served for the game and still had to save a set ball! A new decisive game, therefore, is that the Mallorcaan turns into formality (6-1, then 7-3) to win in 4h25, an intense and challenging duel that could leave traces, because he sometimes seemed ashamed by his right knee. ..