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

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Author of a catastrophic start to the game and despite a racket hit to 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 second round of the United States Open.

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“It is one of the worst beginnings of my career. I’m still here and that means a lot to me, “said Nadal.” But it wasn’t a good match, “he insisted.

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

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To get there he made an avalanche of unforced errors and the “vamos”, “go ahead” or other advice from his coach Carlos Moya (coaches are allowed to speak to players during matches for this US national team) seemed not to c ‘nothing comes in, Nadal was sinking.

Yet, then, he overturned the fate of a draw in a set everywhere and of 3-1 in the third set, Fognini’s nonchalance earned him in turn unforced errors of spades.

“I tried to play a little better, however it couldn’t have been worse,” he commented, explaining that he concentrated on putting more balls on the pitch to regain confidence before accelerating.

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

“I was a bit stunned”

A bad service game on his part allowed Fognini to do it a break return to 3-2, but it was only a short mistake for the Spaniard who returned to the lead.

He then seemed to be aiming for a quiet win, but an accident almost changed the course of the match again when Nadal was 3-0 up in the 4th set: on a backhand extension, his racket bounced off the ground and was back on the face field. Half dazed, bleeding from the root of his nose, the Spaniard lay down, his eyes closed, time to be treated in the field.

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

He resumes playing, blindfolded, and takes a few minutes and a few exchanges to get back into the game, but Fognini does not take advantage of it.

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

“No matter the past, it’s an opportunity for both of us to move up to the round of 16 and I will have to play a little more at the level I play in training,” said Nadal.

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