NEW YORK (AP) — Defending champion Rafael Nadal reached the U.S. Open’s third round when Nicolas Mahut stopped playing because of an abdominal muscle injury while trailing 6-2, 6-2.
After needing nearly three hours to get through his first match, Nadal dominated the 99th-ranked Mahut, a Frenchman best known for losing the longest match in tennis history, 70-68 in the fifth set.
On Friday, Nadal made only five unforced errors and saved all four break points he faced.
Nadal has made it at least this far at 27 of his 30 appearances at Grand Slam tournaments. Two of his second-round losses at majors came at Flushing Meadows in 2003 and 2004.
He next faces 2002 Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian, who beat 30th-seeded Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)