Saturday, September 5, 2009

US Open: Nadal gets tested but advances to third round

There’s vintage Rafa, modern Rafa and genius Rafa, and lucky for us, all three were present on Arthur Ashe Stadium Friday night, to withstand a tough challenge from 32-year-old, Nicolas Kiefer.

Nadal breezed through the first set 6-0, before the German realized he was in fact playing at the US Open, not inside a game of Wii tennis, and leveled the match at 1 set all.

From then on, the level of tennis from both players just kept getting higher and higher as drop shots were made, lobs were perfected, ground strokes were fired, net points were sealed and Kiefer even gave us some sweet serve 'n' volleying as a bonus.

The world number 3 however didn't falter, as he earned himself a break in each of the third and fourth sets to book himself a spot in the third round against another Nicolas, but this time it's his compatriot, Nicolas Almagro.

This victory for Rafa should be nothing but reassuring, since it's always nice to be tested in the early stages yet still manage to pull through in such sublime fashion.

Imagine if Rafa just cruises to the quarters only to find someone like Tsonga waiting for him there, and someone like Murray awaiting in the semis. That would definitely be a shock to his system had he not been challenged in any of his prior matches. I certainly find this Kiefer match a very beneficial and confidence-boosting one.

Nadal's late night win, ensured that the US Open's top 16 seeds are all competing in the third round (last 32) for the first time in tournament history.

Don't miss Saturday's marquee line-up which includes:

Roger Federer [1] vs Lleyton Hewitt [31]
Melanie Oudin (poor girl facing back-to-back vicious Russians) vs Maria Sharapova [29]
Andy Roddick [5] vs John Isner
Fernando Verdasco [10] vs Tommy Haas [20]

and many more...


Suzy said...

Rafa was amazing against Kiefer but not so much against Almagro today. At least he is in round 4 now. Vamos Rafa!

Reem said...

The Almagro match was pathetic I have to agree.

But that abdomen injury seemed to be bothering him. I dunno when he picked that up but let's hope he can get rid of it before Tuesday.