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Published: 09:23 | 1/9/16

Nadal through as Raonic misses out


Rafael Nadal made history as he became the first player to win under the new roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium when he overcame Andreas Seppi 6-0 7-5 6-1 to reach the third round of the US Open.

After Nadal swept to the first set, play was suspended with the score tied at 3-3 in the second to allow the roof to be closed but the brief interupption did little to disrupt the Spaniard as he cruised into the fourth set.

"I was very happy to be the first player to play in the competition with this fantastic roof closing. Amazing, unbelievable," Nadal said of playing under the roof, which took just over five minutes to close.

"I feel that the conditions are pretty similar when the roof is closed or open."

There was a big shock on day three when Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic bowed out of the tournament.

Raonic battled cramp throughout his second round tie and qualifier Ryan Harrison took full advantage by booking his place in round three with a 6-7 7-5 7-5 6-1 win.

"It was probably just nerves and stress, a mental sort of over-exuberance," Raonic said.

"Cramping in the left arm, right forearm there towards the end of the third set, both quads, a little bit in the hip flexor on the left. It was just catching me all over.

"I couldn't switch grips from one point to the next. There were a few points where I would hold the racquet with my left hand and trying to stretch out my right hand in between shots, and that's not going to work."

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic is through to the third round of the US Open after his second-round opponent Jiri Vesely withdrew injured.

Djokovic was made to work hard for his first round win as he continues to battle a wrist injury but he was handed the opportunity to work on his fitness as Vesely pulled out due to an injury to his left forearm.

It means the defending champion will have had three full days rest before he faces either Argentina's Guido Pella or Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the third round on Friday.

French Open champion Garbine Muguruza also exited the tournament as she was beaten 7-5 6-4 by Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova.

Things started brightly for the Spniard as she got the first break of the match but Sevastova recovered to take the first set before racing into a 5-1 lead in the lead.

Maguruza fought back to get the set back on serve but at 5-4 she was broken for the seventh time as Sevastova claimed a memorable victory.

"I was shaking a little bit at the end. It's amazing. On Ashe, in a night match, what's going to be bigger?" she said.

"I had to solve my head, my thoughts, what could be, what could not - everything. But I am so happy it went well."

Reflecting on match point at 5-1, she added: "I didn't feel calm inside. Then I stopped thinking. I was thinking too much at 5-2, at 5-3, then I thought I had one more chance at 5-4.

"I thought I broke her enough times so I tried one more time."

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki defeated ninth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova out of the US Open with a 6-4 6-4 victory, while Britain's Johanna Konta overcame an on-court collapse to beat Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2 5-7 6-2.

Konta required treatment after she dropped to the floor when facing set point in the second set. With the Briton struggling to breathe it was almost 15 minutes later before play resumed and after Pironkova took the second set Konta left court for a five-minute toliet break.

The time away worked in Konta's favour and she broke twice in the third to claim victory.

"I think all athletes kind of play a very fine line with that. We push our bodies to the limits that they can go," Konta said of the 30 degree heat.

"I definitely hit one of my limits. That was the way my body reacted.

"I was feeling a little bit the conditions and also my own energy levels. I was just managing the best that I could with what I had today.

"Basically my heart rate spiked and I couldn't really control my breathing. I started hyperventilating. I started shaking. So yeah, basically that's why I went down on the ground, because I was quite violently shaking.

"I needed to get ice on myself, try to get my breathing down, start to just really calm myself down and in turn my muscles and my heart calmed down as well.

"That's basically what happened. It was basically very embarrassing."

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