Rafael Nadal struggles through to US Open second round

Rafael Nadal made his way into the second round of the US Open early this morning, beating Andrey Golubev in straight sets.

The Spaniard won 6-3, 7-6 (7-1), 7-5, and as the scoreline suggests, he had a tough time despatching the Kazakh, who pulled off a series of wonder shots to keep the pressure on. The second set in particular was a stormer, with Golubev somehow throwing it away after being 5-3 up and serving for the set at 40-0. He even let the third set slip away from him having been 5-2 up. No wonder Nadal's nerves were jangled.

'For sure I was nervous,' said the Spaniard. 'That's normal. It's normal to start the tournament like this with some nerves. I was a little bit lucky to win today in straight sets. He was a very difficult player to play.

'And what happened today, he didn't help because he played very fast all the time. All the shots, he was trying to hit a winner on almost every shot. So it was difficult for me to find the rhythm. But it's a positive start winning in straight sets. I'm happy I'm through.'

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