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Nadal overpowers Daniel at U.S. Open
September 1, 2017 / 5:02 AM / 21 days ago

Nadal overpowers Daniel at U.S. Open

Tennis - US Open - New York, U.S. - September 1, 2017 - Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning his second round match against Taro Daniel of Japan. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal came from behind to dispatch underdog Taro Daniel of Japan 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 in front of a sold-out crowd at the U.S. Open on Thursday.

Despite playing a marathon five-setter the day before, 121st ranked Daniel looked the fresher of the pair at the outset of the match, breaking Nadal to take a 5-4 advantage when the Spaniard dumped a forehand into the net.

He eventually won the set and appeared poised to deliver a massive upset.

But Nadal soon found the accuracy that had eluded him in the first set and his booming serve proved too much for the exhausted 24-year-old, who is now 0-6 against top 20 opponents in his career.

Tennis - US Open - New York, U.S. - September 1, 2017 - Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning his second round match against Taro Daniel of Japan. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

“All the matches are difficult, especially here where everyone wants to play their best,” Nadal said in an on-court interview at the Arthur Ashe Stadium after the win.

“It’s true that I didn’t play very well tonight but it’s also true that I‘m through to the next round.”

Slideshow (2 Images)

Nadal is now one step closer to a potential semi-finals match against third seed Roger Federer, who won his second consecutive five-set match earlier on Thursday.

“I am here to improve every day. I believe I can do it much better and I really feel I am going to do it much better,” Nadal said.

Next up for the 31-year-old is a third round match against aggressive Argentinian Leonardo Mayer.

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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