Rafael Nadal wins US Open on clay

Rafael Nadal drops first set but rallies to defeat Rinky Hijikata at US Open

Rafael Nadal came out on top against upstart Rinky Hijikata 5-7, 7-5, 6-3, as the Spaniard took his first set at the US Open.

After taking the first two sets in a match that went back and forth, Nadal broke Hijikata as he was serving at 6-5 in the third set, but Hijikata rallied and got to a tie-break.

Nadal lost the final set of the match.

Hijikata will be the first-time US Open champion since Carl Meyer won the title in 1976.

The winner of today’s match moves on to face Marin Cilic in the afternoon match, with Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev facing each other in the evening match.

Nadal continued his hot start in the tournament, going up to No. 2 in the world behind No. 1 Roger Federer.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion defeated Argentine Juan Monaco 6-3, 6-3 and No. 2-ranked Andy Murray lost in straight sets to No. 4-ranked Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

The last time Murray lost on clay was in the final of the 2015 U.S. Open, and he failed once again in the first set of his first match against Lucas Pouille. Murray was down 4-1 in the first set against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.

With the win over Monaco, Nadal’s overall record became 16-0. He is the first player other than Novak Djokovic to win his first career Grand Slam singles title on clay.

Nadal’s next match in the tournament is against another upstart, Rohan Bopanna of India. The Indian hasn’t played a competitive match on clay

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