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Nadal through as Ferrer retires in final grand slam match

Serena Williams is up and running too meanwhile.

Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
Image: Julian Finney

RAFA NADAL MOVED through at the US Open as David Ferrer’s final grand slam match ended with an injury on Monday.

Nadal, the defending champion in New York, was leading the first-round match 6-3 3-4 when Ferrer retired due to a suspected calf injury.

The 2013 French Open runner-up, an apologetic Ferrer – who lost that final to Nadal – confirmed the exit marked his last major appearance.

“I have really good memories here at the US Open,” Ferrer said. “This is the last grand slam of my career and I am so sorry because I can’t finish the match.”

Nadal, who had won 24 of his previous 30 meetings with Ferrer, was always a favourite against his fellow Spaniard.

A pair of breaks in the first set saw 17-time grand slam champion and world number one Nadal grab the opener.

It was Ferrer who broke twice in the second set, but the 36-year-old was unable to continue after one hour and 23 minutes.

Nadal will face Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the second round.

Serena Williams marked her return to the US Open with an impressive straight-sets win over Magda Linette meanwhile.

NY: Serena Williams (USA) in first round US Open action against Magda Linette (POL)Serena Williams in first round US Open action against Magda Linett.Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The 23-time grand slam champion was too good for Linette in a 6-4 6-0 victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium in the opening round. Williams, who missed the major last year as she gave birth to her daughter in September, improved to an 18-0 win-loss record in the first round of her home grand slam.

The American, seeded 17th in New York, grew into her clash with Linette, who was no match for Williams. A break of serve in the seventh game of the first set was enough for Williams to take the opener, with Linette winning just seven points against the 36-year-old’s serve.

Williams took that momentum into the second set, racing into a 3-0 lead as she dominated with her power from the back of the court. A powerful backhand winner down the line saw Williams break again for 5-0, closing out a strong victory and setting up a second-round clash against Carina Witthoft.  

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