Even Rafael Nadal felt compelled to applaud when his second-round opponent at the U.S. Open hit a spectacular, full-sprint winner and was left doing the splits at the net.
The shot put Denis Istomin within two points of tying the match at a set apiece. He couldn't manage to close the deal, though -- a recurring theme for Nadal's game-but-outclassed foil in the No. 1-seeded Spaniard's 6-2, 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory Friday night.
Eight-time major champion Nadal is seeking to complete a career Grand Slam, and he reached the third round at Flushing Meadows for the sixth consecutive year. He's never been past the semifinals, where he lost in 2008 and 2009.
Nadal saved 7 of 7 break points against Istomin, a rare example of an ATP player whose mother is his coach.
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