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Rafael Nadal OK after painful leg cramps cause scary moment in post-match news conference
NEW YORK (AP) ' Rafael Nadal is back on his feet after a scary moment at his post-match news conference at the U.S. Open, when painful leg cramps made him slip to the floor.
Reporters were cleared out of the interview room as Nadal received treatment Sunday. After about 10 minutes, they were allowed back in, and Nadal told everyone, "I just have cramping in my leg. That's all."
Nadal was in the middle of the Spanish portion of his news conference when he leaned back in obvious pain, his arm over his face. After receiving treatment and making a statement in English, he resumed his Spanish interviews.
The defending champion had earlier overcome a blister on his right foot and two tight sets to beat 2002 Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian 7-6 (5), 6-1, 7-5 and reach the fourth round on a hot afternoon.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
NEW YORK (AP) ' Defending champion Rafael Nadal overcame a blister on his right foot and two tight sets Sunday to beat 2002 Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian 7-6 (5), 6-1, 7-5 and reach the U.S. Open's fourth round.
The 76th-ranked Nalbandian went up a break in the fifth game and served for the first set at 5-4, but he double-faulted on break point. Then, at 3-all in the tiebreaker, Nalbandian double-faulted again, helping the second-seeded Nadal nose ahead.
Nalbandian broke to begin the third set, but Nadal broke right back to 1-1, then took an injury timeout after that game to have his right foot taped because of the blister.
"Every day is tougher and tougher," Nadal said in an on-court interview after the match.
He played far more cleanly and finished with only 18 unforced errors, 42 fewer than Nalbandian's total.
For a spot in the quarterfinals, Nadal will face 68th-ranked Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, who hit 23 aces in his 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Igor Kunitsyn of Russia.
Muller is playing at Flushing Meadows for the first time since reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier in 2008.