Defending champion Rafael Nadal shocked the US Open when he collapsed with cramps during a bizarre news conference after beating David Nalbandian 7-6, 6-1, 7-5.
Nadal was talking to journalists two hours after the match, when he grimaced in pain and slumped in the back of his chair, feeling his right leg.
The Spaniard slipped to the floor while tournament medical staff were summoned. After 15 minutes of treatment, Nadal was back on his feet, insisting that the problem was merely cramping.
“It was just cramping in the right leg, in the front and in the back,” he said. “It was very painful, that’s all.”
Nadal said the incident will not affect his preparations for his fourth-round match against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.
“I’ll train normally,” he said. “It was a normal cramp that could’ve happened anywhere, but it’s just bad luck that it happened in the press room.”
Murray cruises into fourth-round
British fourth-seed Andy Murray took his career record against Spanish Feliciano Lopez to six wins in six meetings thanks to an impressive 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory.
Murray next faces Donald Young in the fourth round, who has beaten the world number four in their only previous meeting but the Briton is desperate to put the record straight.
“I was in a bad place then, it was a tough part of the year,” said Murray. “It’s not that I want revenge on Donald, it’s more about revenge on the situation.” Meanwhile, 18th-seed Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 champion, saw his hopes dashed by Gilles Simon who beat the Argentine 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 7-6.
Stosur survives scare
Meanwhile, Australia’s Samantha Stosur dropped an epic second-set tiebreaker but recovered to beat Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals and will next face second-seed Vera Zvonareva who beat German Sabine Lisciki. Stosur said that she will take nothing for granted against Zvonareva despite beating her in their last seven meetings.
“Now we’re playing in a Grand Slam, I’m sure she wants to get one back,” said Stosur.
Kirilenko prevailed in the longest women’s singles tiebreaker at a Grand Slam to tie the match at a set apiece before Stosur hit back.
Italy’s Flavia Pennetta also stayed tough in the face of adversity as she carved out a 6-4, 7-6 victory over a fighting Peng Shuai.
Aisam, Bopanna reach quarters
Aisamul Haq Qureshi and Rohan Bopanna reached the men’s doubles quarter-finals at the US Open after brushing aside the Australian-Belgian pair of Paul Hanley and Dick Norman 6-2, 6-3.
The fifth-seed Indo-Pak Express will now face the unseeded pair of Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins of Great Britain who got a walkover from their match with Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez of Spain. Qureshi and Bopanna had earlier beaten Robby Ginepri and Rhyne Williams in the first round and James Cerretani and Philipp Marx in the second round.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2011.