Rafael Nadal overcomes Fabio Fognini in four sets in US Open second round
Rafael Nadal overcomes Fabio Fognini in four sets in US Open second round in New York. (Source: AP)
Rafael Nadal overcame Fabio Fognini in a nail-biting fourth set to reach the second round of the US Open on Saturday, winning 7-5, 7-6 (11-9) in just over 14 minutes, and taking back the WTA Tour’s most valuable win award of $9.7 million.
Fognini, the man once in hot pursuit of the record of $10.7 million, had his serve broken in each of the first three sets, but won five of the next six games to level the match at one set apiece. But he was broken in a 6-2, 6-3 victory in the first-set tiebreaker, and Nadal won the championship on his serve.
“I didn’t have a serve, but I played really well. I made a lot of good shots,” Nadal said.
With the victory, Nadal, the world number one, became the first man in tournament history to win back-to-back sets at a major and the first to win the U.S. Open since Jack Kramer in 1980.
“Obviously, I can’t forget my opponent,” Nadal added. “He’s a great player.”
Now Nadal, who won the Open in 2004, has to wait on Sunday for his first US Open title since 2010, when he defeated Andy Roddick in three sets. At 35 years and 8 months old, he is the oldest winner at a grand slam of a man who has lost only seven sets at major tournaments in the last five years. This was also his 12th US Open singles title.
Fognini, who is ranked world number 19, got his revenge at a major. He lost to Nadal in the 2011 U.S. Open in the opening round, losing 7-5, 6-7 (3), 7