Rafael Nadal suffered a cut to the bridge of his nose when his racket bounced off the court surface and hit him in the face Thursday night during the final set of his second-round victory over Fabio Fognini at the US Open. .
The Spanish star was left bleeding and had to receive treatment, lying on his back at the side of the field.
Fognini came over to see how Nadal was doing.
The match resumed after a five-minute break and the 22-time Grand Slam champion, with a Band-Aid on his nose, finished putting the finishing touches on the 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-victory. 1.
“I was a bit dizzy at the beginning and (it was) a bit painful,” Nadal said in the courtside interview at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “It’s something that happened to me before with a golf club, but never with a tennis racket.”
The mishap came in the first point of a game that found Nadal up 3-0 in the fourth quarter.
He was moving to the right to return a backhand when the racket hit the ground and bounced off his nose. Nadal winced as he dropped the racket and brought his right hand to his face. He covered himself with both hands to head to the side of the court.
After the break, Nadal lost six points in a row and faced two break balls that he managed to save. He quickened his pace to finish off a game that ended past midnight.
Nadal also suffered with his level and described the first hour and a half “as one of my worst starts”.
But he managed to come back from a match in which he dropped the first set and trailed 4-2 in the second.
“Staying alive after a match like this means a lot,” he added.
Seeded second at Flushing Meadows, Nadal was out of action for a month and a half due to the abdominal tear he sustained at Wimbledon. The injury forced him to leave the tournament on grass before the semifinals, so he could not chain a third consecutive consecration in the majors after lifting the trophies in Australia and France.