Rafael Nadal drops first set but rallies to defeat Rinky Hijikata at US Open
Rafael Nadal had a slow first set and played some shaky tennis throughout on Tuesday against unseeded Japanese Rinky Hijikata. But the Spaniard bounced back to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 with a few key points to his backhand.
The match was played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, and NBC will televise the match.
Nadal dropped his first set just 3-1 on serve, but rallied in the second set to claim victory in just 40 minutes, becoming the first player to win 22 consecutive matches at the US Open.
The loss was Nadal’s fourth of the tournament and Hijikata’s third. Hijikata broke Nadal in the first game of the second set and served him out in the third to set up a third set. Though Nadal won that, he was unable to force it to a third set after Hijikata broke and served out the fifth. Hijikata took the first set with his forehand.
Nadal also lost his only match this week in a third-round match at the Japan Open, falling to Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
Loving the fact that we now have Rafa as the champion and defending champ-in-waiting. Here’s to hoping he can build on that streak and make the final, just not that he loses.
I’m not a fan of Hijikata so this result is disappointing. I don’t feel like he deserved to win the third set either. Nadal was playing well in the rest of the sets and I’m rooting for him all the way! Hope he gets another opportunity to show what he is able to do at the highest level when he wins the US Open!
Nadal is the champ! Nadal can win the other five slams (5 Wimbledon, the US, the French, the French, and the Australian Open)