Sports

Inconsistent Roger Federer survives another five-set match at US Open

Inconsistent Roger Federer survives another five-set match at US Open

The Mallorcan, a two-time victor at Flushing Meadows who last month claimed top spot in the ATP world rankings for the first time since July 2014, dropped the first set in his round of 64 meeting with 121st-ranked Japanese right-hander Taro Daniel and had to come from behind to seal a 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory. "So I need to be ready for it". After tomorrow another important match for me. Nadal broke back immediately thanks to a thumping forehand victor down the line and from that moment onwards the Spaniard rarely looked in danger.

"It's true that I didn't play very well tonight but it's also true that I'm through to the next round". Then he broke again with a forehand victor to go up 5-3 and served out the set.

Nadal turned the screw and broke Daniel twice on his way to clinching a speedy third set, and it was a double fault from the latter which allowed the Spaniard to break again in the fourth.

"I hit around 40 winners". "That's not a bad number". "But 35 unforced errors, that's a bad number for me".

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"I need to improve a lot of things but I am here to try to improve every day".

Their last meeting came at the 2014 French Open, when Nadal throttled Mayer in straight sets. "I'm going to work to make that happen". He's not just 3-0 against the big, attack-minded Argentine, but never has dropped a set against him.

Nadal was at one stage staring down the barrel of joining top seeds Alexander Zverev (four), Grigor Dimitrov (seven), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (eight), Jack Sock (13), Nick Kyrgios (14) and Tomas Berdych (15) to be knocked out by underdogs.

But five-time champ Roger Federer barely escaped Mikhail Youzhny in five sets earlier on Thursday, and Nadal won at night to keep alive hopes of a tantalizing semifinal showdown next Friday.


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