The hottest player in men’s tennis makes his return to the US Open for the first time in three years and looks to secure his fifth title. No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal will face off unseeded Rinky Hijikata in the first round on Tuesday at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The match gets started at 7 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN and WatchESPN.
Nadal won the Australian Open and French Open this year but had to withdraw from his Wimbledon semifinal against Nick Kyrgios due to an abdominal injury. He subsequently withdrew from the Montreal Masters, but then returned for the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. The abdominal injury will be something to track, but he’s back for the time being.
This marks Nadal’s first time at Flushing Meadows since winning the tournament in 2019. That marked his fourth career US Open title and his second in three years.
This marks the first time Nadal and Hijikata have faced off in their respective careers. This is also Hijikata’s first appearance in a Grand Slam outside of qualifying, and his first appearance at the US Open.
Not surprisingly, Nadal is a massive favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. He is -10000 to win while Hijikata is +2000. Nadal is +400 to win the whole tournament while Hijikata is +50000.