(AP) – Rafael Nadal has come back to win at the U.S. Open after cutting himself on the bridge of his nose when his racket bounced off the court and smacked him in the face against Fabio Fognini.
Nadal was bleeding and took a medical timeout. A trainer put a bandage on his nose.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion won the second-round match 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
They started Thursday night and finished after midnight.
Play resumed after about a five-minute delay when Nadal hurt himself on the first point of a game with Nadal leading 3-0 in the fourth set.
“One of the worst starts, probably ever,” said Nadal, who amassed 37 unforced errors on the night. “But that’s part of the game. You need to stay humble, you need to accept the situation. It hasn’t been an easy month for me, so I know this kind of stuff can happen. It’s another opportunity for me. I’m still alive after a match like this. That means a lot.”
With the win, Nadal became the first player to qualify for the year-end ATP Finals in Turin.
Warrior. Bravo, Rafa!
Weird and wonky, but a win! Rafa, this is the hard way to get on the highlight reel. We know
it was a shaky start, but this is too hard on the bod! Hope you, the nose, and the ego will
be fired up for the next round👏👍🤛💪🎾❤️🍀
What a night, stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the match. The first set was very hard to watch with many including myself wondering what was going on with the champ. Little by little Rafa came back and I was relieved!A freak accident of getting hit by his racket was the last thing he needed. Was worried when he laid himself down, and saw him look dazed.
And like magic,Rafa gets up and resumes the match with everyone cheering loudly inside the arena and everywhere else where there were Rafa fans.
What can I say? resilient,gifted, and a mental strength that is unmatched by any tennis player at least for now.
Stay well, hope the nose heals quickly, hope your tear in stomach is healing well.
So grateful I am privy to watch this great athlete!!!
Couldn’t watch the game live. Watching the highlights still brought tears to my eyes. I just ❤ him ❤ 😍
The start of the match was just a nightmare…but Rafa found a way to win.
Take rest and keep it up. It will be better in the next round.
Unfortunately unable to watch this match – sure our champ will be up and about in no time – he is after all THEE Rafa !!!!!!!!
Having broken my own nose a couple of times, I was actually surprised you were able to touch it in your “pre-serve” routine! You ARE the toughest guy ever. And the fight in you is insane. Hope you are able to sleep well and the nose doesn’t bother you. I’m so thankful your abdominal tear is holding up! Just keep going, Rafa!!
What a match😱 So proud of you as always, Rafa👍
Hope your nose is okay, stay strong and healthy.💪❤️
Good luck vs R. Gasquet next