Rafael Nadal drops first set but rallies to defeat Rinky Hijikata at US Open
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2013 4:06 pm
By Bill Buntin
The crowd at the U.S. Open cheering on Rafael Nadal at Arthur Ashe Stadium. (Photo: Rick Stewart / USGA)
Updated Jan. 13, 2013: See photos from the 2014 U.S. Open.
Rafael Nadal won his first major at the U.S. Open on Tuesday night, beating Rizvan Đorđević in what many consider to be a major preview of the 2014 U.S. Open.
The Spaniard came from a set down to beat the Serbian 8-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 behind a volley winner by his mother, in one of the most impressive displays of the tournament. The two were tied at 6-6 in the fifth before the final set of the match.
By that point, Nadal, 37, had saved a break point in every game he served at 5-2, 5-2, 5-3. Then, Đorđević played some brilliant backhand volley volleys when the Spaniard held serve.
The fans, however, were not waiting for his serve. They roared as he broke to love to take the match.
“The first set was really intense and really close,” Nadal said. “I knew that Rizvan played some great tennis. I’m very happy to make it to the final and I was just focused in the second set. I think I played great against him.”
The match began with what looked like a forehand winner by Nadal. Đorđević, though, served it into the net and Nadal recovered. But then Đorđević, who hit just one ace in the match, had a chance to break Nadal’s serve when he hit a backhand winner.
A break point came at 3-3 in the