Nadal overcomes epic struggle to reach US Open last 16

Published: September 01, 2018 19:00:58 | Updated: September 02, 2018 11:22:15

Defending champion Rafael Nadal dug deep to outmanoeuvre powerful Russian Karen Khachanov and win their thrilling US Open third-round match in four sets.

Nadal, 32, was a set and a break down before fighting back to win 5-7 7-5 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-3).

The Spanish top seed failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the fourth, but recovered to take the tie-break, reports BBC.

World number one Nadal will play Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili in the last 16.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion, aiming for a fourth US Open title, needed all of his enormous will-to-win and tactical nous to see off Khachanov, who hit 22 aces and 66 winners.

The match ebbed and flowed throughout as it became one of the matches of the tournament so far.

It was Nadal's first real test after not dropping a set in his previous two matches at Flushing Meadows.

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