Spain’s Rafael Nadal has reached the third round of the US Open tennis championship. In women’s tennis, world number one Serena Williams moved a step closer to a calendar Grand Slam.
World eighth seed Nadal’s US Open record is now 22 wins in 23 matches. The Spanish player beat world number 73 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina in three straight sets 7-6, 6-3, 7-5. Nadal trailed 5-3 in the first set tiebreaker, but won the last four points.
“I feel lucky to be through. It was very humid and Diego was very aggressive so to take the first set was very important,” Nadal told reporters. The tennis star missed the 2012 and 2014 US Open matches because of an injury.
In the quarter finals, Nadal is accompanied by top seed Novak Djokovic, the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion. This is Djokovic’s sixth attempt to try and win the US Open. The world number one is to face Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer in the quarter finals.
In women’s tennis, top seed Serena Williams managed to get into the third round despite her uneven play at Flushing Meadows on Thursday. Despite 10 double faults, two dozen unforced errors and a sloppy first set, Williams beat 110th-ranked qualifier Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 7-6, 6-3.
“Today I was a little tight,” Williams said. “I think it showed.”
The 33-year-old said she was otherwise doing fine and has been “completely relaxed, chill”. The world number one has won the past four major titles, and 21 altogether. A victory at the US Open this year will have her complete the first calendar year Grand Slam since German Steffi Graf in 1988.
mg/jr (AP, Reuters)