Rafael Nadal collapses in US Open press conference

Anguished Spaniard hits the deck after spectacular bout of cramp - video

BY Ben Riley-Smith LAST UPDATED AT 10:40 ON Mon 5 Sep 2011

Rafael Nadal usually puts on a good show, and he had the media agog at the US Open when he collapsed during a press conference after a particularly severe bout of cramp following his victory over David Nalbandian at the US Open.

Nadal was answering questions in Spanish when he suddenly closed his eyes, grabbed his leg and slumped in his chair. As the pain continued, the Spaniard gradually slid off his chair and disappeared under the desk. Medical staff were called and after 15 minutes of treatment the world number two was back on his feet answering questions.

"It was just cramping in the right leg, in the front and in the back," Nadal explained. "It was very painful, that's all... I will train normally on Monday. It was just a normal cramp that could have happened anywhere, but it happened in the press room. Anywhere else, nobody would have noticed."

Nadal's cramp came a full two hours after he beat Argentina's David Nalbandian in straight sets at Flushing Meadows. Yet the 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 7-5 scoreline belied the stifling conditions which had the players soaked in sweat within minutes – Nadal himself changed shirt five times during the game.

Nadal's injury-plagued feet – he has been struggling with a recurring tendon injury recently and needed on-court treatment for blisters yesterday – may also have been a factor.

Britain's Andy Murray has had no such problems. The world number four dispatched Spanish opponent Feliciano Lopez in style to book his place in the tournament's fourth round. Murray took the first 14 points of the match, going on to take the first set in 26 minutes in what the Guardian called "one of the great sets of his career". The match finished 6-1 6-4 6-2.

Murray must now face Donald Young, a rapidly rising American prospect who defeated the Brit in their only meeting earlier this year. Young, who is ranked 84th in the world at just 22 years old, has already defeated the 24th seed Juan Ignacio Chela and established tour player Stanislas Wawrinka in the tournament and will be high on confidence when he faces Murray this week. · 

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