FILE PHOTO: Aug 27, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain after beating John Millman of Australia in the first round on day two of the 2019 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Three-times champion Rafa Nadal got a walkover into the third round of the U.S. Open after Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrew from their evening match on Thursday.
Kokkinakis, whose clash with the Spanish second seed was scheduled to close out the Thursday night session at Arthur Ashe Stadium, withdrew with a right shoulder injury, tournament organizers said in a statement.
The 23-year-old Australian, who has struggled badly with injury in recent years, beat Bulgarian qualifier Ilya Ivashka in his opening match this week and was seeking his first appearance in the U.S. Open third round.
Nadal will now face the winner of Thursday’s clash between fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, the 32nd seed, or South Korean Chung Hyeon.
Reporting by Frank Pingue, editing by Nick Mulvenney