Rafael Nadal made his way into the US Open fourth round after defeating compatriot Nicolas Almagro 7-5, 6-4, 6-4. But the bigger news was the re-aggravation of the stomach muscle injury he showed up with in Cincinnati. He and Nico both received treatment during the third set but The Matador was quick to dismiss any talk of injury in his post-match presser:
Q. What did the doctor say about your injury? Are you worried for the next matches?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don't want to talk about injuries. Sorry. No, no, I am a little bit tired to talk about injuries. I am here to try my best every day.
I won the match in three sets, so happy for that. I'm going to try my best next round. That's all.
Q. You said you didn't want to talk about injuries. Was that your knee or the abdominal situation?
RAFAEL NADAL: I said I don't want to talk about injuries (laughter).
Q. Can you at least talk about how you felt after you got the treatment for the rest of the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: I won 6 4, so you can see I didn't serve very fast. But I think I played better from the baseline than before.
Q. We are used to see you much more cheerful, especially after a win. Today you answer as if you're not happy.
RAFAEL NADAL: No, but I know I came here and I know everybody want to talk about the injury. I really don't want to talk about that. That's the thing.
The stomach muscle issue seemed to hinder him a bit on his serve so it'll be interesting to see how this situation develops. The injury will most likely be tested when Rafa faces the Gael Monfils in a match sure to be athletic and acrobatic.
Kim Clijsters put a stamp on her return to the WTA tour when she ousted third seed Venus Williams 6-0, 0-6, 6-4 in a strange but emotional fourth round match. In 2005, the Belgian defeated the 2-time champ on her way to her first, and only, Grand Slam title so could it happen again? Like duh, of course! She's facing Na Li and holds a 3-1 lead in their H2H with a potential blockbuster Serena Williams semifinal lurking ahead.
On a side note, V's loss means ReRe is the only Top 5 seed left in the draw as well as being only 1 of 4 Top 10 seeds still alive after four rounds. Stunning.
Watch out for Flavia Pennetta who saved 6 match points in her 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-0 upset of seventh seed Vera Zvonareva. See what a little confidence can do for your game? And Flavia will need every bit of that confidence intact when she faces defending champ ReRe, who crushed a helpless Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-0, in the quarterfinals.
(Photos: Getty, AP)