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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Nadal finds new gear to quash Khachanov comeback

In the opening game of the second set, Khachanov went for broke. The 25-year-old raced to the net, only to miss a routine volley and was in trouble following two missile groundstroke errors. It already felt like a pivotal game, Nadal’s revolutions on a deep return converting a fourth break point to stamp his authority.  
Down 2-1 the Russian, a recent finalist in Adelaide, claimed sensational back-to-back points to chalk up a rare break opportunity.  
The first, Khachanov retrieved a Nadal smash whilst slipping to the floor, before sprinting across the baseline and clattering a backhand pass down the line. He roared to the crowd, whipping his hand to signal them to raise the volume. They certainly did after the next point, which involved 30 shots, some scorching Khachanov strokes and a subtle drop shot to eventually wear down the world No.5.  
Was the comeback on? 
Nadal was not entertaining a seesaw battle, yet, crushing some trademark lasso forehands to strike for two sets up.  


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