Rafael Nadal US Open 2022

WATCH: Rafael Nadal sustains ‘shock’ injury as he ‘stays alive’ at US Open

Rafael Nadal is through to the third round of the US Open after accidentally striking himself in the nose with his racket while battling with familiar foe Fabio Fognini.

The four-time US Open champion made it past the Italian talent 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1, sustaining the injury up 3-0 in the fourth set.

In the post-match interview, Patrick McEnroe asked Nadal whether such a thing has happened to him before.

“With a golf club but not with a tennis racket,” he joked in response.

He was asked about the injury again in his post-match press conference.

“Little bit pain, honestly, but good,” Nadal reassured the gathered reporters. “We don’t need to create a story. Was just a strong hit.

“At the beginning I thought I broke my nose because it was a shock at the beginning. It was very painful.”

Nadal was far below his best despite the victory, admitting later: “[I’m] happy to stay alive after tonight.”

The 36-year-old had previously lost to Fognini four times in 17 meetings, but one of those was a memorable loss at the 2015 US Open.

In the third round that year, Fognini recovered from two sets to love down against Nadal, the Spaniard’s first ever Slam loss from that position.



Next up for Nadal is as much of a ‘gimme’ match as he could imagine as he takes on veteran Richard Gasquet, a man against whom he holds a 17-0 record at tour level.

Five of those have come at Slams, including twice at the US Open in 2009 and 2013, Nadal winning both in straight sets.

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