Rafael Nadal drops first set but rallies to defeat Rinky Hijikata at US Open
Rafael Nadal dropped serve twice in the first set of his showdown with Riky Hijikata, and took the opening set in a tough five-setter, but fought back to take the second and third sets.
Rafael Nadal went 2-0 against Rinky Hijikata in the first round of the 2015 US Open, with a win and a break of serve over the Japanese’s first set at 3-3 before falling to a broken service game and losing the set on the second.
The Spanish star took the first set by a comfortable margin of 3-1, winning 21 of his last 25 points before a double fault from Hijikata in the second set saw him slip to a three-setter.
The two players went five sets, with Nadal hitting more winners than Hijikata but was beaten 5-7 6-3 6-1.
Nadal, who was the defending champion, reached the final of the event last year but lost to Marin Cilic.
After taking advantage of a double fault by Hijikata in the second set, Rafa went on to dominate the third and fourth set. Nadal took the first with another two-set win to reach the final.
In 2014, the two players played in the first round of the French Open, with Hijikata reaching the third round before Nadal went on to lose in the second round to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
Hijikata started the match by taking the first set of the tournament with a break of serve against the Spaniard. Despite Nadal’s comeback in the second set, the Japanese held a 6-3 3-6 6-4 lead.
Nadal broke Hijikata for the first time at love in the third set. Hijikata broke back to lead 6-3 and took the set. He then served out to claim the second set in a tiebreak.
The Japanese won the final point of the second set and held to go 6-3 behind. He then went on to win the next two and closed it out to set up a five-setter against