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Nadal battles to beat wildcard Jones

Second seed Rafael Nadal overcame knee pain and an inspired opponent at the US Open on Wednesday to scramble past Australian wildcard Alun Jones 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-1 in the first round.

sports Updated: Aug 30, 2007 04:49 IST
Simon Cambers

Second seed Rafael Nadal overcame knee pain and an inspired opponent at the US Open on Wednesday to scramble past Australian wildcard Alun Jones 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-1 in the first round.

The Spaniard, who sported heavy strapping on both knees and had treatment on his left knee, was a break down in the third set but battled back to deny Jones the biggest win of his career.

Jones, who has risen from well outside the top 1,000 two years ago to a career-high 123, caused Nadal all sorts of problems, hitting back to take the second set and then breaking for a 4-3 lead in the third.

But French Open champion Nadal rebounded in typical fashion, winning the next eight games on his way to a second-round clash with Jarko Tipsarevic of Serbia or American wildcard Ryan Sweeting.