Rafael Nadal defeated David Nalbandian 7-6 (7/5), 6-1, 7-5 in the U.S. Open on Sunday to advance to the last 16.
His next opponent will be Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.
Nadal was behind Nalbandian 3-5 in the first set, but he came back to win it and had less trouble after that – although Nalbandian battled back from a 5-2 deficit in the third set to make it 5-5 before Nadal finally went up 6-5 and then won 7-5 on Nalbandian’s double fault.
“It was a tough day. David is a fantastic player and a close friend who has had a tough time with injuries,” said Nadal.
“The first set was key when I came back when he was serving for the set. I am happy because I played my best match of the tournament so far.”
Nalbandian’s career has been stuck in neutral due to injuries to his hip and groin.
For more on the U.S. Open, stay tuned to this storystream.