#sports A new Australian tennis star is born as Rinky Hijikata shocks US Open by giving Rafael Nadal a scare

#sports A new Australian tennis star is born as Rinky Hijikata shocks US Open by giving Rafael Nadal a scare

#sports activities A new Australian tennis star is born as Rinky Hijikata shocks US Open by giving Rafael Nadal a scare

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A new Aussie tennis star is born as unheard-of underdog Rinky Hijikata shocks the game by giving Rafael Nadal a HUGE scare on the US Open

  • Hijikata received the primary set in opposition to Rafael Nadal within the first spherical of the US Open
  • He then when on to lose the match, however nonetheless earned excessive reward from pundits 

A new diamond within the tough for Aussie tennis has been uncovered, with Rinky Hijikata giving Rafael Nadal an almighty scare earlier than ultimately taking place to the tennis legend on the US Open on Wednesday. 

The 21-year-old, who went to the celebrated King’s School in Sydney earlier than shifting to the US and starring for the University of North Carolina in school stage, received his first set in opposition to Nadal, stunning the tennis world. 

Playing in his first Grand Slam, the 198th-ranked Hijikata lit up Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York with some electrifying tennis to grab the opening set, earlier than Nadal pulled out all stops in a pulsating 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-3 comeback victory on Tuesday night time.

A star is born! Aussie Rinky Hijikata celebrates after winning the first set against Rafael Nadal at the US Open

A star is born! Aussie Rinky Hijikata celebrates after successful the primary set in opposition to Rafael Nadal on the US Open

Hijikata received excessive reward from former Aussie tennis begin Jelena Dokic, who mentioned he couldn’t have began the sport any higher.

‘It was the forehand that did a lot injury, actually taking it on. The court docket positioning was simply razor-sharp, he was prepared,’ Dokic mentioned in commentary for Channel 9. 

‘The break level at 3-all set the tone for that set but in addition the strain to serve it out. Just actually unloading on a lot of these forehands. Just the proper set from Hijikata.’ 

From the surface it could have gave the impression to be a nightmare match-up for Hijikata, who solely performed his first ATP occasion earlier this 12 months earlier than being handed a US Open wildcard.

But it simply meant the exuberant Aussie, who’s father is in reality a tennis coach, lifted to the event, earlier than the category of the legendary Nadal received out in the long run. 

Now unbeaten in 19 grand slam outings in 2022, Nadal entered the event underneath a health cloud after withdrawing from his scheduled Wimbledon semi-final in opposition to Nick Kyrgios with an stomach tear.

The reigning Australian and French Open champion had misplaced his solely match since, to Borna Coric in Cincinnati in three units two weeks in the past.

The 22-time grand slam champion once more seemed weak after Hijikata captured the primary set along with his impressed first-strike, attacking tennis.

New Yorkers are well-known for loving an underdog, as Aussies usually are, and the 21-year-old duly whipped the centre-court crowd into a frenzy along with his thrilling play.

When Hijikata clubbed an airborne forehand winner down the road to convey up set level, the Aussie fist-pumped and waved his arms in triumph after sealing the set with a big ace down the center.

It ship the group wild, and left followers scrambling to search out out extra data on him and profess their love for his play on social media. 

Hijikata’s win within the first was the primary time in Nadal’s record-breaking profession that he’d misplaced his opening set at a US Open.

Rafael Nadal celebrates his win at the US Open after losing the first set to Hijikata

Rafael Nadal celebrates his win on the US Open after shedding the primary set to Hijikata

Sadly, Australia’s grand slam rookie shortly realized to not prematurely rejoice in opposition to arguably probably the most ferocious competitor males’s tennis has ever seen.

After hitting again swiftly to take the second and third units, Nadal resisted a fierce fightback from Hijikata within the fourth to ultimately clinch victory, to nice reduction, on his fifth match level after three hours and eight minutes of enthralling motion.

The two combatants acquired a standing ovation after the traditional encounter.

Had Nadal misplaced, it might have been, statistically, the worst defeat of the mighty Spaniard’s 1277-match profession.

Nadal has received the US Open 4 instances, together with three years in the past.

He then didn’t return in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic or final 12 months due to an injured left foot.


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