Rafael Nadal drops first set but rallies to defeat Rinky Hijikata at US Open
The French Open winner took a 2-0 lead in the first set but was upended by the Japanese youngster.
Rafael Nadal, the world number two, was defeated by Japanese youngster Rinky Hijikata 1-6, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in just 56 minutes on Friday evening.
Hijikata, 26, turned on the style in the early stages as he broke Nadal in the first game.
He kept the pressure up as he broke for the first time in the second game. He then converted and held again to go up a break in the third game.
His momentum looked to have taken him to victory, but Hijikata continued to run through Nadal.
The Japanese youngster was never really in control of the rally, but he was still able to make his impact on the final point of the set and on the match.
Nadal was trying to hold serve in the second and final set but he was unable to stop the momentum against the world number five.
His serve was also not there, as he faced a second break of serve in the fourth game, and he got broken again in the fourth game but converted to go 6-0 up.
However, he then had to fight back to get a break in the fifth game and held to go 8-6 up. He then won the break to go up another break as Hijikata pulled back his game.
Then the world number two struggled to get to a third break point, after saving twice, but Hijikata broke for the first time in the sixth game.
The Japanese youngster then won three games in a row to hold to go up a further break.
Nadal was struggling, but he was able to break again to extend his lead to 3-1.
But, he then made a double fault