Rafael Nadal joins Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic in the history books with record-breaking US Open victory

Rafael Nadal won his opening round at the 2022 US Open, making history in the process with an incredible winning streak he had seen only a few times before.

The 36-year-old tennis icon started the US Open in a dominant manner and won Rinky Hijikata 3-1 in their showdown at the Artur Ashe Staidum. Hijikata bagged the opening set, but it didn’t take Rafa long to find his rhythm, winning three times in a row. He now moves into the second round where he will meet Italian star Fabio Fognini.

With his first-round victory, Nadal has now gone on to record 20 consecutive wins in all major tournaments – with the exception of his Wimbledon walkthrough. On his way to the Australian Open and French Open titles, he won 14 times in a row. He added five wins at the Grand Slam in England, although he probably could have achieved more had he not sustained an abdominal tear that forced him to retire in the semifinals.

Regardless, Nadal is just the fourth man in the Open Era (1968) to have multiple 20-game winning streaks in Grand Slam tournaments. He joins the likes of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg.

Djokovic has actually managed it four times in his career while Federer has managed it three times, per ESPN stats and information.

Of course, it’s unlikely that Rafael Nadal would care about such stats. It’s useless anyway unless he wins the title. But he certainly wouldn’t have wished for a better start.

It remains to be seen if Nadal can continue the streak but all eyes will surely be on him as the US Open continues.

Emma Raducanu, we open up

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