US Open R1: What time does Rafael Nadal play against Denis Istomin?

On Monday, two-time champion Rafael Nadal will open his 12th US Open against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, who reached the fourth round in New York in 2012 but is 7-20 this season.

Photo by Luca Marfé | @marfeluca
Photo by Luca Marfé | @marfeluca

Date: August 29, 2016

Match time: Rafa is third on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Approximately 2 PM EDT –  New York, Montreal / 7 PM BST – United Kingdom / 8 PM CEST – Spain, France, Germany, Italy / August 30 – 4 AM AEST – Melbourne. To convert to your local time, use this website.

Rafa and Denis have met four times and Rafa has won all four meetings. The most recent match was in the 2014 Miami Masters, a match Rafa won in 13 games. This will be the third match on hard court.

Rafa is 34-11 on the season (13-7 on hard) with titles at ATP Masters 1000 MonteCarlo and Barcelona.

Good luck and Vamos Rafa!

Source: ATP World Tour


  1. Phew ! I’m glad that match is done and dusted . Rafa is obviously not feeling 100 % with a lingering cold that he had in Cincinnati, his team need to dose him up if he has any chance to go deep into this tournament . The first set was great ,but oh Rafa the second was a bit of a struggle Uncle Tony’s face said it all, I think he will be having words with you in the changing room . I was getting worried that having your hair cut had zapped your strength like Samson ( and Delilah) . Some beautiful shots in the third set to lead you victory. Lovely to see that your whole family are in the US supporting you this week .Rafa love the hair, the smile, the beads of sweat when you shake your head , the snarl and the left eyebrow that has a life of its own but not a fan of the gobbing NO ! get rest ( and some cough medicine) and I will look forward to seeing you in the next round . Oh Rafa you are just so cute , go on then gob away!🎾☀🗽🐄😍

    • True. Not nice to see the “gobbing”, I also have to say that… But I guess there was no other way, as the caughing seems to be very persistent. He already did it in Rio (?) or Cincy?
      Anyway, he really seems to have a very big cold, poor Rafa. I hate colds! They stay for weeks rob a lot of energy, and make you often feel pretty sick and dumpish.

  2. VAMOS & OLA DEAR RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) US OPEN HERE WE COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Beautiful 2 sets with Aces & net brilliance and your fantastic movements & returns!!!!! VAMOS VAMOS VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) Love watching you slide and reach and so incredibly FOCUSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : )

  3. Duh! Mark Petchey Rafa’s slower now than when he first started well shock horror what a stupid thing to say. Rafa your looking cool and may I say your shorter hair looks great and has knocked years of you. The shadows on court couldn’t be helped but were annoying enough to watch let alone play . Rafa your doing great one set up , and may I say I’m loving your quirky opponent ( as long as he keeps losing)🇪🇸🇪🇸🇪🇸

  4. I’m with you on not being a fan of Berdych he’s a bit cold ,but I can’t take to Raonic when he’s on court he comes across dare I say a bit snotty and the brace popping out doesn’t help , he also reminds me of a toad ( don’t know why ) but when he’s interviewed he’s lovely. I also like Carla square Navaro (probably spelt that completely wrong) personality wise she reminds me of Rafa . Still we all have the best in common Mr Nadal which is out on court now.😘🇪🇸🇪🇸🇪🇸🇪🇸🇪🇸

  5. Hi Teresa , I guess we will never really know what goes on ,but if he is having problems in his private life it might explain why when he has lost he has not redacted in his normal way of breaking rackets or having a tantrum but has been the complete opposite and quite emotional. It nice to see that McEnroe thinks this way as I can justify ( a little) the way I feel about Novak and know its not just me being biased

    • The way I perceived it was that Novak had a brilliant run and was exhausted. Winning RG and Wimbledon is a record in itself so maybe he was resigned to losing at that point. His post match response was almost word for word Rafa’s in the same situation. In my overactive imagination, I thought the emotion was fake and he was drawing from Rafa’s show of emotion and the likeability it gives him. But then, I question my own bias when it comes to him. but realise there was always something about him that didn’t appeal even in the early days when he was not on top of his game. I cant really explain why I like Monfils, Raonic and Roddick but dislike Berdych, Sharapova and Novak – it just happens. Saying that I like Novak’s comedy and the respect he has shown Rafa in restraining his imitations when he thought they might embarrass him e.g. he looks to Rafa for permission and stops short of pulling his shorts so must possess some sensitivity. Who knows, once he starts losing, I might like him more;)

  6. Never heard the saying and I read on Google that it’s used in boxing but also apparently in competitive situations, I guess that’s what McEnroe meant. I hoping Novak doesn’t win the US Open but I wouldn’t wish him to be knocked out because of trouble at home, but saying that if he starts being arrogant I might change my mind

  7. One hour and 30 mins until the US Open gets underway and 5 hrs until Rafa tournament starts can’t wait . Waiting to see if we have any surprise early exits as long as it’s not Rafa I don’t mind. It will be interesting to see what form Novak shows up with as he has disclosed that his lack of form and early departures from Wimbledon and the Olympics were down to private issues (marriage problems) and not because of a lingering wrist injury. Interestingly John McEnroe has said he is shocked that Novak has admitted he is struggling ,as this can only inspire belief in his rivals. McEnroe also went on to say that maybe Novak playing a rope-a-dope. Now I have never heard this expression before , I don’t know if it’s an American saying or not but having an inkling at what Mac was getting at I googled it. Many of you may know the meaning but if not here goes: Strategies in which one party purposely puts itself in what appears to be a losing position attempting thereby to become the eventual victor. Is this the type of thing Novak would do hmm not sure but I don’t think McEnroe would have said that about Rafa. Time will tell. Not a lover of Novak but I hope he can work out his personal problems as we saw how much Stan’s game was affected when he had problems in his marriage. Good luck tonight Rafa , just be on your toes and don’t take anything you hear for granted .💖

    • I’ve been reading sports writers’ articles all weekend about Rafa’s statement that he’s not 100%, that Murray said he’s still tired, and Nole’s visible slip about personal matters. Nole stopped and caught himself according to the reporter.

      What all the writers agree on is that these comments may just be a way of players short selling themselves. One writer actually wrote, “who are we, they’re not going to tell us anything.” Just as a fan can’t count on knowing the true condition of an athlete, writers know this is a given. That’s probably why writers speculate just as much as fans do. I’ve seen the results regarding Rafa.

      What I did find interesting is that one writer said he actually saw Nole’s wrist being attended to during a practice session and that Nole also cancelled some practice sessions. It’s possible that Nole cancelled practice at the courts because he can practice where he is staying, the writer wrote.

      Rope-a-Dope is a boxing term purportedly coined by American boxer,
      Muhamed Ali: basically, in a boxing match, one boxer mostly protected by the ropes permits himself to be pummeled by his opponent, tricking him to using up all of his energy so as not to have any left to win the fight. I am not a fan of boxing and never heard of this term. See what we can learn on RNF.

    • Hi Maria, I wouldn’t put anything pass Novak! Extrovert personality type – he is more than capable of playing games. Maybe Mac knows this. Coincidentally, the Olympic commentator for the BBC said the opposite of Rafa that he is not the type of person to bluff about injury. These professionals have far more insight into players personalities than we do as fans. I’ve seen nothing about his marriage other than silly rumour. One thing I have noted with Novak is that he sometimes uses the word ‘personal’ out of context. His English is great but occasionally he gets something wrong. When he spoke of Rafa’s injury in late 2015 he also mentioned it as being ‘a personal crisis’. So perhaps the media have picked up on his use of the word personal as meaning private life.

  8. People of New York 🗽have certainly been treated this week , I have been following Rafa on Instagram and I don’t think I have ever seen him at so many events as I have this week . I’m guessing it because he has had free time because of his decision to stay in the US after Cincinnati ,and not going back home to Mallorca before the US Open . You lucky people. Good luck tomorrow Rafa , I’m counting down the hours🎾

    • You’re right, and neither have I. As soon as everyone learned he was in NY they probably rushed to get a piece of Rafa. I just hope they leave enough of him to win the USO.


  9. When I first saw Rafa in his new hairstyle, I thought how becoming it was and that it reminded me of a much younger Rafa, when he was a young boy.

    Then I thought I can finally see his handsome face without him having to brush his hair back with his hand.

    Then I wondered what he will do on court when there is no hair to brush behind his ears.

    Then I thought that Rafa is finally a grown man.

    Then I thought perhaps it was his way of trying to conceal his balding pate.

    Then I wondered how long it took Rafa, he who doesn’t like change, to decide to change his hairstyle.

    Then I wondered if his team had ever discussed it with him.

    I don’t give a ratz arse if he has no hair. I just want him to be comfortable with his hair loss and to not have it become just one more of his obsessions. That is my only worry.


    • Hi Margo, the impression I got was when he was younger he was paranoid about his hair – always fiddling with it. Now he has come to terms with it. In my minds eye, because he models, the stylists have probably dictated what he has done with it lately. I like his recent short cut. I don’t think it will make a difference to him tucking it behind his ears – as a reporter once observed it is tied back on court so there is nothing to tuck in – he will go through the motion anyway:)

      • Heya Teresa, yes…that was exactly my point, his hair was kept in place by his bandana but his hand was either near his nose or hair (or rump) on court. But his hair was longer then than it is now. So it didn’t seem that obvious. (hair tucking -thanks….that’s what I meant)

        Rafa does not like change. I can’t see him being persuaded by a stylist all of a sudden being persuaded to change his hairstyle. But with Rafa anything is possible. Whatever the case, it’s a nice surprise.


    • Margo… I’m sad Rafa is loosing his hair …he is so handsome he will look fine with a very short haircut ; but hey he Is Rafael Nadal the kid from Majorca with the the long hair and beautiful muscular arms…I don’t want him to get older!

  10. Rafa is gorgeous but if I am truthful I would prefer Rafa with hair , who knows maybe he will go down the hair transplant route at a later date and why not , many have. But knowing Rafa I don’t think it worries him, he certainly hasn’t been blessed with the thick hair that his father and uncle possess, but when you have such a winning smile who needs hair

    • Right! Generally spoken, I mostly prefer men with longer hair to bald headed, but as you say, what really matters is that smile, and he has that “on of a million” -smile. He really should not worry about hair loss. I have the same age, and my hair is starting to get grey already… Thus, hair change chan happen very early and if it is a problem for someone nowadays, there are still some ways to cover.

      • Fed and Maria: strangely enough the men I have been most in love with in my life have been bald! I think it’s because they tend to be bigger and more masculine:)

      • (I first thought you wanted to write something about Roger and Maria (Sharapova) :)).
        Sure? Is hair loss connected with more masculine? Maybe… But also know slender men with eary hair loss… I have no idea 🙂

      • Balding in men is connected to higher testosterone levels (the male hormone) so in general they tend to be more masculine

      • Teresa, now i found time to watch you youtube clip 😆. Thank you so much, I have never seen this! Haha, OMG, his answers are so cute 😇. Those journalists really pressed hard with their questions, didn’t they? He was answering slighltly embarrassed but with all his open heart… All attending female journalists must have fainted in this room in the end😅. Great clip, love it!

    • Are you kidding with the transplant thing? I don’t think he could sit still long enough. The man is gorgeous and most of his fans do not concentrate on his hair. Have you seen him in his Tommy Hilfiger skivvies. Who cares about his hair? I hope he plays tennis forever. He’s the best!

      • Yes agree 100% and I spend an unhealthy amount of time checking him out in his skivvies:) If you haven’t already, you should check out his new Babolat interview – Tommy Hilfiger could learn a thing or two;)

  11. Wishing you the best of luck in this year’s US Open, Rafa. So glad you are back. And hoping your wrist won’t bother you during your play. Vamos Rafa😊👍

  12. Rafa what a picture with those solid, golden arms shining at the practice courts.

    May you play sooooooooooo well tomorrow and get going for the best US Open you have ever played.

    Love and prayers for a GREAT tounament,


  13. Yes, aaahw, yes. those legs…!!!!.😭 😩😆. (How can somebody have such beautiful legs?) They catch my eyes all the time, abyway… have to hold myself back when it comes to his legs 🤗🙈.
    Rafa was answering two times to a person with the same name like my real name, (but it was not my questions he answered. Some rafa fans share my name, though 😄).

      • Rafa is a very handsome young man. It is almost fair that he has one bad feature, his thinning hair. I have admired his legs and his skin compared to other athletes. He really should be a model. I sure hope he uses sunscreen since he gets very tan. The best part of Rafa, however, is that he is even a better person inside. I never get the impression that he is overly vain about his looks. He really is the humble bull.

      • Yes, the hair… But I (and I think at least 95% of us:) do not mind at all as his face gets more mature and even more handsome with the years. So I’m absoultely sure he’ll also look great once he is bald headed. That’s true, Rafa is just himself and does not try to hide anything about getting older etc….And exactly this makes him so adorable! Could hug him today all day long since that fan – question interview.

    • Most men lose their hair at some time or other (Andy and Roger are also balding:). I always think, if hair was Rafa’s only attribute then it would be a problem but 99.99% is still intact:) He does have some sun damage to his skin but then he is a sun worshiper and his job is outside. He would probably sweat any protection off on court anyway. ‘Should be a model’ – he is a model! Armani and Hilfiger recognised his attributes a long time ago! As to what he thinks of himself? I remember one of my favorite quotes ‘I watch myself so so’ (he meant I see myself so so). The Americans especially made a big fuss of his looks when he first came onto the scene (good old US) and he said that he didn’t expect all the ‘extra attention’ – he felt he was a ‘mediocre’ person. Someone is always sexier when they are unaware of their own sexual attraction like Rafa. For me, Rafa is a very unusual looking man, not conventionally handsome but rather possesses a strange kind of beauty which is intriguing and matches a slightly ‘off beat’ personality. As he is getting older is he becoming more conventionally handsome. He has beautiful wavy hair and it will be sad when it has to finally all come of but I reckon he will look good shaven. Lecture over – sorry!

      • Nice lecture, Teresa ;). I enjoyed reading. You describe so well what makes Rafas so very special and charismatic, its obvious that you have a great sense of noticing a lot when it comes to people. Haha, yes I can imagine he said that “so so”. (Rafa, you have no idea!)
        And (your quote) “but rather possesses a strange kind of beauty which is intriguing and matches a slightly ‘off beat’ personality” thumbsup, that is it! *sight* You could continue forever to make your nice descriptions, I will enjoy!

  14. Rafa has posted a great pic on Instagram of himself and Roger, McEnroe, , Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver taking a selfie , Rafa said he is excited to join Roger to play for Europe as Bjorn as their captain. The Laver cup will certainly be an event worth watching with all the great attending.

  15. So many lovely, wonderful pics and videos from Rafa in NY. He is such a cutie these days… (not that this is not always the case but how sweet was that video by him answering fan-questions today with his lovely smile. 💕❣). Can’t stop watching.
    Good luck, champ! I’m so excitet and wish I could be there watching and supporting you play. So happy you are back on the tour. May you stay healthy, without pain and may you wrist hold, strongly! Then, everything is possible in this edition of us open.✊🏼.

    • I keep watching that – how gorgeous and relaxed does he look? He seemed to be enjoying himself for once. I notice one of the questions was from Rafa Nadal Fans (about the football) but it must be from a different fan site because RNF would have made a big deal of it by now. By the way those legs OMG!

      • btw., in those relaxed moments he lookes even more handsome as usual. Like he is just in peace with himself. Guess this is making me post pubertal enthusiastic posts about his look since yesterday. Over now! From tomorrow on, the cheering and nail-bitig will restart. Holiday mode off ;).

      • LOL:DDD post pubertal! It’s OK to admit we don’t just like him for his tennis! If we get carried away … well who else can we indulge our thoughts with:)

      • 😂😂! Hope we wont ever go so far in public spaces that it would cause the result of us being carried away by anybody 😱😜😬🙈

      • 😂🙈 hope we’ll never go that far that it would cause us being carried away by anybody😬

  16. Rafa I pray that is a smile while you are kind of rubbing your left shoulder. Play with confidence and that fighting spirit. I cannot imagine how excited you must be to be in the USO because I’m practically exploding with excitement just waiting to see you in battle on court. Knock ’em dead in their tracks and show you are a champion to be reckoned with.


  17. Absorb all the good vibes from your fans Rafa and relax! Stay calm, play well and you will have your chances. VAMOS RAFA WE LOVE YOU!

  18. All the best of luck sweet Rafa 🍀😘👍

    VAMOS!! 🎾💪💖😃👑

    Gorgeous picture 😍😊❤️

  19. Vamos rafa et rendez vous pour la finale en vainqueur de la coupe sur le podium 👍👍👍❤❤❤❤❤👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑

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