New York: World No 2 Rafael Nadal advanced to the US Open third round by walkover on Thursday after Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrew from the tournament with a right shoulder injury.
The 33-year-old Spaniard, an 18-time Grand Slam winner and three-time US Open champion, will next face South Korean qualifier Hyeon Chung and who beat Spanish 32nd seed Fernando Verdasco in five sets.
Nadal's path to the final, already eased with "Big Three" rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on the opposite side of the draw, had opened up further before Nadal got the break of extra rest.
Four other top-10 rivals were ousted in the first round at Flushing Meadows, leaving possible quarter-finals foe Alexander Zverev, the sixth seed from Germany, as his highest-rated rival. And Zverev battled through his second five-setter on Thursday just to reach the third round.
Updated Date: Aug 30, 2019 08:21:35 IST