Top-ranked Rafael Nadal came back from a set and a break down to beat Japan’s Taro Daniel 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and reach the U.S. Open’s third round.
It took Nadal a little while to figure out Daniel, who is ranked 120 spots lower and often plays on the lower-level Challenger tour. Daniel has never been past the second round at a major tournament.
Daniel was better in the opening set Thursday night and went ahead 2-1 in the second. But Nadal finally converted a break point on his sixth try of the match in the next game to get to 2-all and began to calibrate his big forehand better.
Nadal has won his past 11 second-round matches at Flushing Meadows after losing in first two appearances at that stage back in 2003 and 2004.
Nadal is a 15-time Grand Slam champion, including titles at the U.S. Open in 2010 and 2013.
He plays 59th-ranked Leonardo Mayer next.