NEW YORK (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal made a powerful start in his determined bid to complete a career grand slam by winning a 7-6 7-6 6-3 slugfest against Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili at the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
Showing more power than ever in his serve and looking comfortable on a Arthur Ashe center court, the 24-year-old Spaniard claimed the first two tiebreaks by 7-4.
Top seed Nadal registered the first service break of the high-quality match when the 93rd-ranked Gabashvili netted an easy forehand in the seventh game of the third set before closing the match with another break.
Eight-times grand slam champion Nadal, winner of this year’s French and Wimbledon championships, will next meet Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, a straight sets winner over Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina.
Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Frank Pingue