New York, Sep 3 (IANS/EFE) Spanish tennis icon Rafael Nadal advanced to the third round of the US Open on Wednesday after defeating Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 7-6(5), 6-3 and 7-5. Nadal will now face off Italy’s Fabio Fognini, who beat Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-4 and 6-4 in the second round on Wednesday. (ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal in no mood to forgive Nick Kyrgios, refuses to play with him at John McEnroe’s charity event!)
Meanwhile, Spanish veteran David Ferrer moved through to the third round with a hard-fought 7-5, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) victory Wednesday over Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic, while home-crowd favorite Mardy Fish wrapped up his career with a narrow loss to Spain’s Feliciano Lopez. Despite missing Wimbledon and the US Open tune-up events due to an elbow injury, the 33-year-old Ferrer moved through thanks to solid play from the baseline and his ability to capitalize on his chances to break serve.
For the match, the seventh-seeded Spaniard made just 24 unforced errors, compared to 48 for his opponent, and converted five of his eight break-point opportunities.Next up for Ferrer in the third round will be French No. 27 seed Jeremy Chardy, a 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) winner over Slovakia’s Martin Klizan. But Wednesday’s most emotional match was a five-set battle between Fish and the 18th-seeded Lopez, who rallied from a two-set-to-one deficit to defeat the 33-year-old American 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Fish, who made a comeback this year after seeing much of the latter part of his career derailed by a heart problem and an anxiety disorder, was broken when serving for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set and eventually succumbed in just over three hours. The American, who achieved a career-high ranking of No. 7 in 2011, several months before he was hospitalized with severe cardiac arrhythmia, was teary-eyed as he exited the court to a standing ovation.
In other action Wednesday afternoon, defending champion Marin Cilic, the No. 9 seed, moved through with a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Russian Evgeny Donskoy. Cilic, the surprise winner of last year’s event, struck 19 aces, hit 39 winners, committed 29 unforced errors and converted five of his eight break-point chances. He only dropped his own serve once. He will next take on the winner of the match between 17th-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin.
Tenth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic moved through with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-1) win over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco; Belgium’s David Goffin, the No. 14 seed, rallied to defeat Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1; and Italian Fabio Fognini, the No. 32 seed, cruised past Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. In women’s second-round play on Wednesday, American top-seeded Serena Williams moved one step closer to completing a rare calendar-year Grand Slam by defeating the Netherlands’ Kiki Bertens 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.