Nadal Streaks Into Third Round, To Renew Fognini Rivalry
Eighth seed Rafael Nadal needed two hours and 41 minutes to turn aside Diego Schwartzman 7-6(5), 6-3, 7-5 on Wednesday at the US Open. It was his 750th tour-level match win.
The diminutive 5'7" Schwartzman put up a mighty fight in racing to an early break lead in the third set, before Nadal rebounded in time to close out the match in straight sets. The Spaniard fired eight aces and 38 winners, while claiming six of 12 break chances. He dominated the shorter rallies, claiming 72 of 120 points of 0-4 shots.
"I think I served well today," said Nadal. "My serve was working well. I think I had the match under control at the beginning playing well. Then I played a bad game with the 5-3. Then the match became a little bit more crazy (with) some ups and downs.
"Today I felt that I was practising great before the match, and yesterday, too. I felt that during the match I didn't arrive to that high level that I was practising before. But it's true that he played really well. Even if he had break up in the second and in the third, I had a lot of 0/30s, 15/30s, a lot of opportunities during the whole match to have I think a more comfortable victory.
"He was trying to play very aggressive. When you play against a player that they are able to take all the risks with not much pressure, so then it is a little bit more difficult to have the control of the point. Because if the opponent decides to hit every ball then is tougher.
"But tennis is tougher if they playing well. Today he played well, So that's it. Accept that. I fought well. I fought until the end. I came back, even if I had lot of opportunities the real thing is I was a break down in both sets and I came back well to win both sets. That is an important improvement for me and I'm happy for that."
Champion in 2010, '13, Nadal improved to 22-1 in his last 23 matches at Flushing Meadows. He also moved to 28-2 against Argentines since 2010.
Nadal will next renew his rivalry against Fabio Fognini after the Italian defeated Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. The Mallorca native owns a 5-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head advantage over Fognini, but has dropped two of three decisions in 2015, including a semi-final encounter in Rio de Janeiro and a meeting in Barcelona. Nadal recently exacted revenge at another ATP World Tour 500 series event - in Hamburg - in July.