Day 5. Round 3. Rafael Nadal

Andy Taylor Announcer 2018 US Open 025 Rafael Nadal Round-3 Match Recap

Narrator Andy Taylor | The Voice of the US Open | Photo: Rafael Nadal Fans

[1] Rafael Nadal -01- (ESP) def [27] Karen Khachanov -26- (RUS) | 57 75 76(7) 76(3)

Just seven matches ago (“yesterday” for those on Tour), Karen Khachanov proved a formidable foe for Nadal in the Toronto Semifinals. In that match, the margins were tight, and Rafa escaped with a 76(3) 64 victory. While Nadal would go-on to capture his 80th career title – defeating Stephanos Tsitsipas in the Final – Khachonov gained even greater confidence that he indeed had the tools to take-down a “Greatest of All Time” contender.

And so…they met again in the 3rd-Round of the 2018 US Open. A clash that became one of the top highlights of the fortnight.

Despite Nadal’s phenomenal defense, the 26th-ranked Russian stole set-1 thanks to a second-break late in the set. The next three sets included some of the best tennis of the tournament, with a mixed-bag of everything the US Open offers – including a momentum-shifting rain-delay and roof closure.

In the end, after 4-hours and 23-minutes of thrilling theatrics, the 3-time US Open Champion (2010 | 2013 | 2017) once again earned exhausting triumph in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Andy Taylor Narrator 2018 US Open 025 Rafael Nadal Round-3 Match Recap

MATCH NOTES: Incredible stuff from Karen Khachanov

Broke Nadal twice in set-1 and served out the set
Broke Nadal twice in set-2, but lost his mojo when the roof closed
Played a high-level set-3 through to the tie-break, and saved 4 set-points before capitulating
Broke Rafa AT LOVE while Nadal was serving for the match
Delivered a remarkable “tweener” at the tail-end of set-4

NEXT: [1] Rafael Nadal -01- (ESP) vs Nikoloz Basilashvili -37- (GEO)

R3: def [27] Karen Khachanov -26- (RUS) 57 75 76(7) 76(3) | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R2: def Vasek Pospisil -88- (CAN) 63 64 62 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R1: def David Ferrer -148- (ESP) 63 64 RET | Arthur Ashe Stadium

[1] Rafael Nadal -01- (ESP)

He is the defending and 3-time US Open Champion…and one of the greatest to ever play the game. This Spring at Roland Garros, he again defended his title, earning an unprecedented 11th French Open title. Combined with 2 Wimbledon victories, an Australian Open win, and 3 titles here in Flushing, he is a 17-time Grand Slam Champion. A 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist and 4-time Davis Cup Champion, with his US Open Series victory in Toronto, he now owns a remarkable 80 career tour-level Singles titles. And it was here, 8-years-ago, at just 24-years-old, he became the 7th man in tennis history – and youngest in the Open Era – to earn the career Grand Slam. From Mallorca, Spain – Please welcome 3-time US Open Champion and the #1 Player in the World…Rafael Nadal.

[27] Karen Khachanov -26- (RUS)

This 22-year-old has reached the 3rd-Round of the US Open for the first time, and comes into New York with a career-high ranking of World #26. Earlier this year, he won his 2nd ATP World Tour Singles title in Marseille and reached the Round of 16 at both Roland Garros AND Wimbledon. Three weeks ago, at the US Open Series event in Toronto, he earned his third career top-10 win, defeating World #9 John Isner en-route to his first Masters-1000 Semifinal. Competing in his third US Open, from Russia – Please welcome…Karen Khachanov.