Rafael Nadal labours through to third round of US Open

Sep 02, 2017, 01:01
Rafael Nadal labours through to third round of US Open

The disappointing manner of his performance at Arthur Ashe Stadium may have led to concerns that Nadal, now 31, might be feeling the pace of a relentless and busy 2017 campaign.

Needing five sets yet again to get the job done, Federer prevailed over Youzhny 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The 25-year-old from Czech Republic, Pliskova, the runner-up in 2016, eased past Poland's Magda Linette 6-2, 6-1 on the back of eight aces and 29 winners. "It's true I didn't play very well tonight but it's true I'm through to the third round".

"Good", Federer said when asked about it. But remember: Federer did not drop a single set en route to his record eighth Wimbledon championship in July. "But I'm really, really happy I got through".

The Russian didn't face a break point in the third set and served it out to 0 when the pressure could have consumed him. "I had to come up with something".

Federer, who was pushed to the brink by American teenager Frances Tiafoe in round one, has now been taken the distance in his opening two matches at a major for the first time in his illustrious career. In the first set really I was just seeing and feeling it, see how far I could push, but I was never in pain.

"I'm obviously disappointed with the outcome today, but I do like the trend that it seems the more I'm on court with players in the Top 10 at the top of the game", Gibbs explained. Finally, Youzhny shanked a ball that soared high and improbably plopped in, and Federer thwacked it out of the Russian's reach to seal the match. The 36-year-old sprayed 68 unforced errors but also fired 63 winners to Youzhny's 27 en route to setting up a Saturday showdown against Feliciano Lopez. No. 6 seed Dominic Thiem and the No. 24 seed Juan Martin del Potro, a former champion in NY, advanced Thursday.

Federer, the eloquent mover he is, didn't appear to be struggling physically following his back problem in Cincinnati early this month.

Second on that list, with 15, is No. 1-seeded Rafael Nadal, who trailed by a set and a break before figuring things out and beating 121st-ranked Taro Daniel of Japan 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in Ashe at night. I still believe that. "I feel positive", Nadal told reporters after his rather unconvincing four-set defeat of Daniel.

"I think this will actually give me a lot of confidence".