PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal powers into US Open third round

(Reuters) – Defending champion Rafa Nadal eased into the third round of the U.S. Open with a regulation 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over unseeded Vasek Pospisil on Wednesday.

A fresh-looking Rafa, whose first round match was cut short after opponent David Ferrer retired with a calf injury midway through the second set, started brightly against the Canadian and never looked back.

Rafa wrapped up the opening set in 35 minutes after breaking early to go 3-0 up as Pospisil, ranked 88th in the world, struggled to settle into a serving rhythm.

The Canadian rallied briefly in the second set, improving his first serve percentage and managing to break Nadal to lead briefly, but the world number one broke back immediately and went on to win four games in a row to seize complete control.

“In the second set I had two games in a row where I had trouble with my serve,” Rafa said in a courtside interview. “The first one I saved, the second one I couldn’t. I was lucky to be able to break back. To win in straight sets is always positive.”

Rafa started the third set on the front foot, breaking early once again as Pospisil ran out of steam. He wrapped the contest in exactly two hours, and will next face Russian prospect Karen Khachanov, the 27th seed.

Playing his second night match in a row, Rafa looked a lot more comfortable in the muggy conditions than he did against Ferrer, who was down a set but up a break against his fellow Spaniard when he was forced to retire in the first round.

The weather has been one of the main talking points of the first week at Flushing Meadows, with high temperatures and humidity forcing organisers to impose “extreme heat” rules to give the players some relief. Rafa said he was looking forward to the end of the week, when rain is expected.

“We’ll be able to see better tennis than what we saw first couple of days of the U.S. Open,” added the 17 times Grand Slam champion. “Playing under these conditions is, first thing, not healthy, and second thing, is not good for nobody — not good for the fans, not good for the players. The show is a little bit worse under these conditions.”

Source: Reuters


  1. Who and when does he playsnext? Sorry raf. you always so well dressed,but his outfit and those red tennisare not uptp your grace…

  2. I liked that Rafa came out on fire and played that way all match except for his dip in the second set. Sadly for Vasek, he just does not have the shots to trouble Rafa. His next opponent, Karen Khachanov, is improving with each match. Rafa, did beat him in Toronto, however. I was really happy with how Rafa served. I love Rafa’s sleeveless look, but the rest of his kit is disappointing. His practice attire is better looking. Rafa is so gorgeous that it does not matter. He may play in the afternoon on Friday, but it should be much cooler.

    • Worse still, Amazon have no replays so if you can’t sit up all night to watch the matches, there’s no access to them the next day!! The bad reviews on Prime are Approaching 1000 now. It really is dire for this Rafa fan and all other UK tennis fans.

      • Really feel for you, not being able to watch the matches (especially Rafa’s). I just read an article on CNN (“Tennis fans blast Amazon’s US Open Coverage”). Hopefully they will make improvements (quickly). The tennis coverage in US (where I am) is also much reduced. ESPN used to stream all courts, now only three! On Primetime, you’ll see the commentators chat aimlessly waiting for the main court matches, instead of showing other very competitive matches. What a way to grow tennis as a sport!

        Rafa played a great match! If he can maintain this level through out the tournament, he will be hard to beat! Is it possible that he is still getting better? 🙂

        Rafa, good luck in the 3rd round! One match at a time.

      • I have Amazon Prime on trial for a month and discovered today that there are replays, have watched Rafa’s match already on replay. That was through my TV not sure about IPads.

      • An absolute nightmare , I am seething , wonder if Fed , Doc , or Rafa know our situation , I’d like to think they do and feel for us ! Roll on Wimbledon !! Xx

      • Thanks Cindy, I’ve just checked again and see that the replay option is now there. All the dire reviews must have spurred Prime into action because Rafa’s first match was definitely not replayed the following day. Watching him now!

      • Chrissieh7 I think what you are seeing is the ‘match of the day’. Chosen today was Rafa/Pop and Verdasco/Murray. Any further choice is limited to highlights. Hope that changes but was really happy to see one Rafa match at least.

  3. Awesome match 😍👍🏻 – Congrats Rafa and the best of luck in the third round 😘🍀
    VAMOOS CHAMP #🥇🎾💪🏼😃

  4. Best of luck for the third round Rafa! Just repeat today’s performance. No one can stop you if you continue playing like this. Looks like it’s Rafa against everyone else, vamos💪💪💪

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