Author: Deborah

Rafael Nadal beats Hijikata in US Open quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal beats Hijikata in US Open quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal drops first set but rallies to defeat Rinky Hijikata at US Open

Rafael Nadal’s first set on Monday lasted 2 hours, 15 minutes. By comparison, the second set last week lasted 3 hours, 49 minutes. The first few points were slow and tentative. The Spaniard began to attack the net with an abandon after the first service game. The opening set on centre court was a different story. Nadal won five of the first 10 points. He found his rhythm and started to pull away.

“I was more relaxed and just used my time,” said Nadal. “I wasn’t thinking about the first three sets. I was just enjoying the feeling.”

Nadal had been a bit nervous leading up to the opening match, said Rafa. “I had two or three matches earlier this year that were tough. It was a little bit tough for me but I think I was able to play my game.”

The 30-year-old, who now has a Grand Slam title to his name, said he had always wanted to compete at the US Open.

“It’s my favourite tournament and I wanted to play in it,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing for me. And I hope that the fans will like me at the US Open.”

The first two sets were nearly identical. Nadal, playing to his nickname, was on top late in both. The first set lasted 3 hours and 31 minutes. The second set was nearly even at two hours, 41 minutes.

The Spaniard improved his record against Hijikata, who beat him in the third round in Shanghai in January last year. They last met in the 2009 US Open quarterfinals. It was a rematch of the Wimbledon final Hijikata had won over Nadal. Hijikata, who won the first set 6-2, had an advantage.

“This is my time. I have the experience. I play well. I was able to beat him,” said Nadal. “He beat me in the [2009] Wimbledon quarterfinals.”

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