Rafael Nadal suffers a bloody nose after hitting himself with a racket

Rafael Nadal suffers a bloody nose after being hit with a racket - GETTY IMAGES

Rafael Nadal suffers a bloody nose after being hit with a racket – GETTY IMAGES

Rafael Nadal suffered a nasty cut to the bridge of his nose after his racket flew past his face, but managed to recover from the “dizziness” to advance to the third round of the US Open.

Nadal had fashioned a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 comeback victory over Italy’s Fabio Fognini after a disastrous start to a match he described as “one of the worst” of his career.

He was error-prone, hit serves slowly and looked out of sorts as he lost the first set. But he slowly managed to improve and was leading 3-0 in the fourth set – just three games away from victory – when the drama unfolded.

After a late change of direction on the baseline, Nadal reached for a backhand but ended up hitting his racket into the ground and it went up in his face.

He immediately winced and threw his racket away, held his hand to his bleeding nose and turned away in pain. Still holding his nose, he hurried to his chair and lay down on his back, a worried Fonini standing over him as he waited for medical attention.

Play was delayed for five minutes while Nadal was patched up with a large cast. He ended up losing the game, but would win the next three to earn the win. He then admitted he was “dazed” and “in shock” for the rest of the match.

“Well, I couldn’t really concentrate when I got back from that,” he said. “I was a bit shocked. I know when I get back on the field I will be in trouble for a while.

“A little sore, honestly, but good. Happy after a terrible start. I still don’t understand how I started so badly because the feeling before the race was good. But, yes, things like that happen sometimes, so you have to accept it. And move on. That’s what I did. Lucky Fabio did [sic] some mistakes and I was able to start putting some balls in and finish the match obviously playing better – a lot better.”

Rafael Nadal takes on Richard Gasquet in the next round - GETTY IMAGES

Rafael Nadal takes on Richard Gasquet in the next round – GETTY IMAGES

Despite the injury, Nadal was in good spirits afterwards and although he did not suffer a concussion he said he was worried the nose might be broken: “No, we don’t need to create a story. It was just a hard hit. At first I thought I broke [sic] the nose because it was a shock at first.

“It was very painful. I lost a little bit of—I don’t know how to say it in English—but a little bit of my sense of head. It’s being a little bit out of the world.

“I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to be broken. I’m not sure yet. I don’t know. I think it’s getting bigger and bigger.”

As for his erratic form, Nadal said he hoped to feel more like himself on court as the tournament continues and faces another veteran in Frenchman Richard Gasquet – who he has a 17-0 record against – on Saturday.

“Tennis is a lot about timing. It’s about making things happen at the right times. Today I didn’t do that for a while. Then I think I started to fight. That’s what I was looking for for a set and a half – I wasn’t fighting , no? Something unusual of me.

“But the positive, I stayed there. I was positive. Even if the disaster was huge, I wasn’t too disappointed. Just accepting the situation, stay humble enough not to think of myself as too good to not accept many mistakes.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *