US Open: Nadal reveals broken nose fears

·2-min read

Rafael Nadal feared he had broken his nose after being struck by his own racquet in the second-round win over Fabio Fognini at the US Open.

The Spaniard, seeking a 23rd grand slam title, once again recovered from losing the opening set to claim a 2-6 6-4 6-2 6-1 triumph at Flushing Meadows.

He will now face Richard Gasquet after extending his winning streak at majors in 2022 to 21 matches.

But he will hope the pain from a nasty-looking injury has subsided by then, with Nadal's racquet having bounced off the court and into his nose while he was stretching to make a return in the fourth set.

The world number three needed a medical timeout and treatment, returning with a plaster on his face as the incident ultimately did little to slow his momentum.

"It was just a strong hit," said Nadal. "At the beginning I thought I had broken the nose because it was a shock at the beginning. It was very painful.

"I lost a little bit of the feeling in my head. It was like being a little bit out of this world.

"I don't know, it seems like it is not broken. I am not sure yet. I don't know. I think it's getting bigger and bigger."

For the second match in succession, Nadal had to come from a set behind, having also lost the opener to first-round opponent Rinky Hijikata.

Having struggled to find his rhythm early on, the 36-year-old was pleased that his persistence paid off.

"I'm happy after a terrible start. I don't understand yet how I started that bad because the feeling before the match was good," he said, the win having secured his spot at the ATP Finals for a 17th time.

"But these kind of things sometimes happen, so you need to accept and keep going. That's what I did.

"I'm lucky that Fabio made some mistakes and I was able to start putting some balls in and finish the match playing obviously better, much better."