TENNIS

Rafael Nadal edges past US Open second round with bloodied nose

Rafael Nadal accidentally cut himself on the nose with his own racket, leaving himself bloodied and dizzy during his second-round victory at the U.S. Open on Thursday night.

Rafael Nadal suffered a bloodied nose in his second round victory at US Open

Play was delayed for about five minutes during a medical timeout in the fourth set of what would become a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 win against World number 9 - Italy's Fabio Fognini at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The match began on Thursday night and finished after midnight on Friday.

The bizarre incident saw the Spanish great Nadal immediately grimaced, dropping his racket, and putting a palm to his face and then both hands on his head.

The episode came on the first point of the game with Nadal leading 3-0 in the fourth set and clearly in command after ceding the opening set for the second match in a row this week.

The 36-year-old Spaniard was moving to his right when he hit a backhand. After making contact with the ball, his racket deflected off the ground and smacked him on the nose.

He went over to the sideline and lay down, waiting for the trainer, and Fognini went over to check on Nadal. After having a bandage put on his nose, Nadal resumed play.

Despite the injury the 21-time Grand Slam winner was still able to edge past his Italian opponent at Flushing meadows.

Speaking after his victory, Nadal said he was happy to survive.

I was lucky, honestly, that Fabio made some mistakes in that second set,” Nadal acknowledged.

For more than one hour and a half, I was not competing, One of the worst starts, probably, ever,” he added.

Provided that his nose is okay and that he isn’t concussed, he looks set to face Richard Gasquet in the next round.

Nadal won the Australian Open in January and the French Open in June for his 14th title there, then made it to the Wimbledon semi-finals in July before the abdominal issue forced him to withdraw

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