Nadal cruises into fourth round at US Open

Stunning comeback from Paire to reach Winston-Salem final

Fourth seed Rafael Nadal made easy work of Andrey Kuznetsov as he beat him 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 to waltz his way into the round of 16 at the US Open on Friday. 

Nadal is vying to get his season back on track after being forced to pull out midway through Roland Garros with a wrist injury. 

Nadal opted to play at the Olympics despite not having fully recovered and despite falling to Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals of the men’s singles event, he did not leave Rio de Janeiro empty-handed as he teamed up with Marc Lopez to win gold in the men’s doubles competition. 

Having not dropped a set at the US Open coming into his third round match, the two-time US Open champion maintained that trend. 

The Spaniard blitzed through the first set as he broke Kuznetsov twice en route to clinching the set in just 29 minutes. 

Kuznetsov put up more of a fight in the second set as he and Nadal traded breaks for four consecutive games before Nadal edged ahead 5-4 after breaking the Russian in the ninth game. The fourth seed subsequently proceeded to claim the set. 

It was smoother sailing for Nadal in the third set as he dominated Kuznetsov, breaking him twice, before going on to convert match point on his fourth attempt. 

Nadal will face 24th seed Lucas Pouille in the fourth round after the Frenchman defeated 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 6-1. 

Meanwhile, Kyle Edmund continued to impress at Flushing Meadows as he toppled 20th seed John Isner 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (5). 

Isner was not the only seeded player to fall on Friday as Jack Sock stunned seventh seed and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. 

Earlier in the day, top seed Novak Djokovic advanced to the fourth round after Mikhail Youzhny retired with a hamstring injury midway through the opening set. Ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 10th seed Gael Monfils and Marcos Baghdatis also booked their spot in the round of 16.