Top seed Rafael Nadal survived a scare as he saw off Karen Khachanov 5-7 7-5 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-3) to reach the US Open fourth round.
The Spaniard, who is the defending champion in New York, dropped the first set, but benefited from a rain delay when the score was 5-5 in the second as he came back the stronger of the two players to eventually prevail after just under four and a half hours of action.
Nadal was full of praise for Khachanov, who had previously never taken a set off the world number one, after the match, but he acknowledged he will have to improve his own game if he is go further in the competition.
“It has been a tough situation, a great opponent,” Nadal said. “I’m very happy to be through. Probably there’s things to work on for the next match but the victory means I have the chance to do it.”
Next up for the 32-year-old is a clash with Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili, who booked his place in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time after seeing off Argentina’s Guido Pella 6-3 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7-4).
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