Header Ads

No. 1 Nadal Back In New York: "It Is Always Special To Play Here"

If history is any indication of what's to come at the US Open, Rafael Nadal will be quite pleased with his fortnight in New York.

The last time the top seed entered the last Grand Slam of the year as World No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings was in 2010. The result? His first of two US Open titles, culminating in a four-set victory over Novak Djokovic in the final.

Top seed Rafael Nadal prepares for his 13th US Open.
This time, Nadal returns to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center ready to embark on his 142nd and 143rd weeks at No. 1. Ahead of his 13th appearance in the Big Apple, the Spaniard says he is simply happy to be back and has one objective on his mind: take it one match at a time, beginning with Dusan Lajovic on Tuesday.

"I'm just excited to start the US Open," Nadal said during Media Day on Saturday. "It doesn't matter if you are seeded No. 1 or No.  20. For me it is always special to play here in a tournament that I've had success, a tournament that I enjoyed a lot of good matches, and a tournament that normally I have a great connection with the crowd."

Nadal is looking to build on a quarter-final finish at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, including victories over Top 30 players Richard Gasquet and Albert Ramos-Vinolas. He opens against Lajovic on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday. He claimed the lone encounter in their FedExATP Head2Head, a 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 rout at Roland Garros in 2014.

Should Nadal extend his perfect mark in the US Open first round to 13-0, he would face either #NextGenATP home hope Tommy Paul or Taro Daniel. A potential blockbuster quarter-final affair against Cincinnati champion Grigor Dimitrov is on the horizon, as well as a semi-final clash against longtime rival Roger Federer. It would be their first encounter in New York.

Nadal says it would be an epic meeting against five-time champion Federer, but one he would hope to avoid.

"It sounds very good, but the real thing is I'd prefer to play against another player, an easier one if it's possible," Nadal said, smiling. "Of course I understand that it is going to be great for our history. It is true that we played in all Grand Slam finals. But anyway, meeting him here in semi-finals, if that happens that will be something great and amazing."

Nadal's opener against Lajovic will be the third match of the day session on Tuesday, on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/us-open-2017-preview-nadal

No comments

Powered by Blogger.