THE NEW YORK When his own racket ricocheted off the court during the follow-through after a shot, Rafael Nadal cut himself on the bridge of his nose with it, leaving him wounded and faint during his second-round victory at the US Open.
In the fourth set of what would end up being a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Fabio Fognini at Arthur Ashe Stadium in a match that started Thursday night and ended after midnight on Friday, play was suspended for nearly five minutes during a medical stoppage.It created a strange scene that was briefly frightful. Nadal frowned, put his racket down, put his hand to his face, and then put both of his hands on his head. In his postgame news conference, he stated that he initially believed his swollen nose might have been fractured.
When it occurred, he described it as “shocking” and claimed to have felt “a little bit out of this world.”
Nadal was able to laugh despite everything though. When asked if he’d ever experienced that during his on-court interview, he forced a chuckle and responded, “With a golf club but not with a tennis racket.”