Rafael Nadal Rallies Past Leonardo Mayer to Reach US Open Fourth Round
(September 2, 2017) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 1 Rafael Nadal needed to again rally from a first set loss to win in four sets on Saturday, when he defeated Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the fourth round of the US Open. The match lasted three-hours and 16-minutes, which delayed the start of the evening session at Flushing Meadows.
Mayer came into the tournament as a “Lucky Loser,” having lost in the last round of the qualifying tournament, but due a withdrawal, he moved into the main draw.
Due to the rain, the match was played under a closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The Spaniard also had a slow start in the second round against Japan’s Taro Daniel on Thursday night.
Up until his first break of the match in the second set, Nadal was 1 for 14 in break point chances. He was 6 for 25 for the entire match.
“For me was not a slow start,” Nadal said to media. “Was a slow start of converting breakpoints. When you have that many breakpoints, you created the opportunities, more than usual. So if you are able to convert one, two of them, probably we will talk about another story because that’s the real thing, no? Then you don’t make it, of course opponent is a good player, you arrive to the tiebreak. I make a mistake, he play well, had some good serves, you lost the tiebreak.
“Of course, when you see that you lost a set that you had triple more opportunities than your opponent, then of course you are in trouble.
“At the beginning of the second, yeah, I had breakpoints again, but is true that he had one 15-40. But, yes, after that finally I converted one at the 14th opportunity. After that, the match was completely different.”
Nadal hit 26 unforced errors to Mayer’s 52. Nadal hit 39 winners which included four aces. Nadal won 140 points to 120 for Mayer.
Mayer is now 1 for 25 against top ten opponents.
“You are under stress when you see that you have opportunities almost in every game, and you are not able to convert it,” Nadal speaking on the topic of pressure on break points. “Yeah, of course, when finally I did it, everything changed. I was able to play more free, to start to attack better with my forehand. I changed more forehands down the line, hitting some good backhands later. I think the level of tennis after that break have been very positive.
“I hope that last three sets can be a good turning point for me because, in my opinion, I played much better today than the two previous days later in the match.
“You need matches like this. Then now I have the opportunity to compete again, to try to do it well, no? I am in the second week. That’s the important thing. Already won three matches in a row. That’s important news for me.
“I know I have a tough opponent out there now, tricky one, because he going to play aggressive, he’s very tough, he has a lot of talent, and he’s playing well. He won easy today. Against Berdych he played well, too. Going to be a tough one.
“So for me is another opportunity to compete, try to compete better than what I did.”
Nadal will be playing Ukranian player Alexandr Dolgopolov, who reached the fourth round destroying Viktor Troicki 6-1, 6-0, 6-4 in 82 minutes. The Ukranian’s match in the recent Winston-Salem Open is under investigation due to irregular betting patterns.
More to follow…