Rafael Nadal drops first set but rallies to defeat Rinky Hijikata at US Open
Rafael Nadal returned from the US Open on Wednesday, with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 win over world No. 14 Rinko Hijikata in the quarterfinals. Nadal, a two-time victor at Flushing Meadows, will face either Kei Nishikori or Kei Nishikori in the semifinals.
World No. 8 Hijikata, seeded 32nd at Flushing Meadows, came back from 5-4 down to win the second set and had a chance to serve for the set at 4-3 in the first-set tie-breaker. But Hijikata was broken early and never got a chance to serve for the set.
“I’m very happy to win. It was a great opportunity and I’m glad I had a chance to come back,” Hijikata said. “I played maybe my best tennis of my career and I’ve got to believe that if I keep playing like this, I can win the big tournaments.”
Nadal showed that he can play at his best when it matters most.
“He’s played terrific, he’s played great,” Nadal said. “I think he’s played great today and all his matches are great.”
Nadal has now won seven of the past eight US Open matches, but lost in the 2009 US Open final to Rafael Nadal, who was serving for the match against Rafael Nadal.
Nadal has a chance at his second US Open title with a win against Nadal.
“He’s a great player and he’s a great person. He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll meet,” said Nadal, who is making a return to action after his left knee injury sidelined him for much of the season.
One of his fans, however,