Rafael Nadal left bloodied at US Open after blow to the face from his OWN RACKET during Fabio Fognini win

·2-min read
Rafael Nadal of Spain lays down after an injury to his nose during a match against Fabio Fognini (USA TODAY Sports)
Rafael Nadal of Spain lays down after an injury to his nose during a match against Fabio Fognini (USA TODAY Sports)

Rafael Nadal was left with a painful bloodied nose after inadvertently hitting himself in the face with his own racket at the US Open.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion sustained a nasty cut to the bridge of the nose and required treatment after straining for a backhand in his second-round encounter with Fabio Fognini at Flushing Meadows, driving his racket into the ground before it ricocheted back up and struck him in the face.

Nadal was thankfully able to continue after medical treatment and with a plaster applied to the affected area, though he also needed attention for blisters on an uncomfortable night in New York.

Rafael Nadal needed treatment for a bloodied nose at the US Open on Thursday (AFP via Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal needed treatment for a bloodied nose at the US Open on Thursday (AFP via Getty Images)

The world No3 - a four-time winner at the US Open - looked in danger of a shock exit from the final Grand Slam of the season as he trailed fiery Italian Fognini by a set and 4-2 at one stage on Thursday, but staged a sensational recovery despite his ailments to triumph 2-6 6-4 6-2 6-1.

Nadal will face France’s Richard Gasquet in round three as he looks to continue his unbeaten major run in 2022, having won both the Australian and French Opens and later been forced to hand Nick Kyrgios a rare semi-final walkover at Wimbledon due to an abdominal tear that led to him playing just one warm-up match for the US Open, a second-round loss to Borna Coric in Cincinnati.

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after defeating Fabio Fognini of Italy during their Men’s Singles Second Round match in New York City (Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after defeating Fabio Fognini of Italy during their Men’s Singles Second Round match in New York City (Getty Images)

He opened his latest Flushing Meadows campaign by dispatching Australia’s Rinky Hijikata following an opening-set scare.

“At the beginning I thought I broke the nose because it was a shock. It was very painful,” Nadal said of the racket incident.

“(There’s a) little bit of pain but (I’m feeling) good. Happy after a terrible start. I don’t understand yet how I started that bad because the feeling before the match was good.

In Pictures | US Open 2022

Emma Raducanu (AFP via Getty Images)
Emma Raducanu (AFP via Getty Images)
Alize Cornet (Getty Images)
Alize Cornet (Getty Images)
Cameron Norrie (Getty Images)
Cameron Norrie (Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal (AFP via Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal (AFP via Getty Images)
Danielle Collins (Getty Images)
Danielle Collins (Getty Images)
Venus Williams (AP)
Venus Williams (AP)
Jannik Sinner (AP)
Jannik Sinner (AP)
Petra Kvitova (AP)
Petra Kvitova (AP)
Andrey Rublev (AP)
Andrey Rublev (AP)
Serena Williams (AP)
Serena Williams (AP)
Andy Murray (Getty Images)
Andy Murray (Getty Images)

“But these kind of things sometimes happen so you need to accept and keep going. That’s what I did. I was lucky that Fabio made some mistakes and I was able to start putting some balls in and finished the match playing obviously better, much better.

“I am practising much, much better than what I am playing. That’s a positive thing. Then I need to make that happen in the matches.”