Rafael Nadal’s winning moment en route to his first US Open victory since 2019: WATCH | Tennis News

Rafael Nadal’s start to US Open 2022 saw him lose the first set against Australian Rinky Hijikata before winning the next three to register a victory. The Spaniard looked off in his rhythm but won the match 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 at Flushing Meadows. The former World No 1 was competing at the event for the first time since 2019.

US Open: Rafael Nadal breeze past Rinky Hijikata at Flushing Meadows

Rafael Nadal, who is seeded second in the tournament, won 19 of his past 20 matches at the season’s final Grand Slam. The Rafael Nadal vs Rinky Hijikata match opened with Hijikata surprisingly taking the opening set under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The momentum completely changed in the second set. Nadal started the second set by winning the first three games before extending his lead to take the set 6-2.

In the third set, Nadal never faced a break and comfortably pocketed the set to take a 2-1 lead. Both players went neck to neck in the fourth set but the Spaniard broke his opponent in the fifth game before recovering from being down 0-40 in the eighth game to hold his own serve. Hijikata did manage to defend four match points in the ninth game but Nadal’s vicious forehand winner was enough to take the set and match. The French Open 2022 champion was all pumped following his opening round win. Nadal’s next opponent wil be Fabio Fognini who battled past Aslan Karatsev 1-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4. 

It’s been a long wait: Rafael Nadal 

After winning the US Open in 2019, Rafael Nadal missed the 2020 edition due to the Covid-19 scare. He did not play the 2021 edition due to foot injury which ended his season early. Making a comeback after two seasons and starting the tournament with a win, Rafel Nadal was really elated. He said,  “It’s been a long wait. For some time I thought I may not be able to be back, so I am super happy. Night sessions are the best. I just have to be humble and accept the process, day after day in practices and matches and stay positive.”

Speaking about the match he said “I think I started not that bad the first couple of games, but then I had some opportunities that I was not able to make it. I think I didn’t play a good game with my serve. Then he had the break. Then I was a little bit nervous. First match here in New York after three years, night session, it’s always exciting. Yeah, I went through this tough moment.”

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