Author: Christian

Rafa Nadal wins US Open semi-final against Riki Hijikata

Rafa Nadal wins US Open semi-final against Riki Hijikata

Rafael Nadal drops first set but rallies to defeat Rinky Hijikata at US Open

Rafa Nadal dropped the first set in his third US Open clash with Riki Hijikata 6-3, 6-1.

World number 19 Nadal served for the first game of the match but made just 37% of his first serve points against the rising Japanese world number 9 to leave the Spaniard on the back foot.

Hijikata, however, played some superb tennis from the baseline and won the first set 6-0.

Hijikata broke Nadal early in the second set before he served out a three-game point for a 6-4 lead.

But the 10-time Grand Slam winner served out five sets for the match to leave Nadal on the short end of a tie-break.

The fifth set moved on to an entertaining tiebreak in which the Spaniard fired five aces and seven aces to take what looked like a 5-3 lead.

However, an acrobatic Nadal rally got him the required break as well as a game point.

He then won a break of serve to go 7-5 up in the tiebreak.

Japan’s Hijikata then won the next point to go ahead 10-6.

And he served out the deciding set to a standing ovation.

This was the fifth time Rafa and Riki were involved in a US Open final, with Nadal having also lost in the 2011 French Open final, the 2008 US Open semi-finals (a loss to Roger Federer), the French Open semi-finals (with Rago) and the US Open semi-finals (with Hijikata) at Flushing Meadows. Riki reached the last four a number of times and in his most recent run he qualified for the US Open before this year’s edition.

Rafa is playing his first US Open semi-final and second straight final, taking the record for most semis final appearances at four.

The win for Nadal gives him another top ten win this season and it caps an impressive campaign for the Spaniard.

The last time he

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