Rafael Nadal optimistic he can raise his level in rest of US Open

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Rafael Nadal optimistic he can raise his level in rest of US Open

Rafael Nadal is confident he can raise the level of his game as he insists he is practicing much better than he is playing at the US Open. On Thursday night, Nadal avoided a shock US Open exit as he recovered from a set down to beat Fabio Fognini 2-6 6-4 6-2 6-1.

In the second set, Nadal was three times down by a break, but still found a way to recover and tie the match to one set apiece. From that moment, there was only one player on the court. “Happy to stay alive after tonight.

Now is the moment to play better. I hope to be ready to make that happen,” Nadal said, via Tennis Majors. “I am practicing much, much better than what I am playing. That’s a positive thing. Then I need to make that happen on the matches.

It’s something that is not easy. But I’m making a step forward”.

Nadal happy with how he finished versus Fognini

In the third set, Nadal broke Fognini three times to go up by two sets to one. Then, Nadal broke Fognini twice in the fourth set to complete a four-set win.

Nadal, who also struggled against Rinky Hijikata in the first round, was glad with the level with which he finished the Fognini match. “I think at the end of the match today I played better than in the first round without a doubt, too,” Nadal said.

“It’s an improvement. Two matches already. Two victories. That helps. Now another opportunity against Richard”. Nadal plays next a very familiar face, Richard Gasquet. Nadal and Gasquet will be going head-to-head for the 18th time when they meet at the US Open.

Going into the match, Nadal is the absolute favorite, considering his stunning 17-0 record versus Gasquet. Nadal hasn't even lost a set versus Gasquet since 2008.