News Americas, FLUSHING, NY, Sat. Aug. 31, 2013: Rafael Nadal, the world No. 2. ranked player defeated Ivan Dodig, a 28-year-old player from Croatia ranked 38th, by solid straight-sets victory, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 on Day 6 of the U.S. Open as he marched on in the tourney.
“If you’re not playing your best,” he told ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez on court after his victory. “It’s impossible to win matches in the second week of the US Open.”
Nadal is now 2-1 against Dodig, but much more critically, the Spaniard remains undefeated on hard courts and is a stunning 56-3 this year. After returning from knee injuries that kept him out of the game for seven months, including missing the 2012 US Open and this year’s Australian Open, Nadal is having a dream year, with just one glaring blemish: an uncharacteristic first-round exit at Wimbledon. The former No. 1 has rocketed back up to No. 2, and he has a chance of reclaiming the top ranking with a victory in Flushing Meadows.
He will next play No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat American John Isner, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6.
Meanwhile, Venus and Serena Williams rallied from down a set and from down a break in the third to win their first-round doubles match at the U.S. Open.
The win came after Venus was eliminated in singles in the second round. The sisters beat Spaniards Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suarez Navarro 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-3 on Thursday in front of a big crowd at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
(All photos from the U.S. Open by NAN photographer Hayden Roger Celestin)