The last time Rafael Nadal played indoors he suffered a galling semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon.
On Friday he was back under cover, but this time he came through a pulsating third round at the US Open when, with the roof closed over the Arthur Ashe Stadium, he came back to fight off world number 26 Karen Khachanov.
The enormous lid over the world’s largest tennis area generated a feverish atmosphere as he triumphed 5-7 7-5 7-6 7-6 in four hours and 23 minutes of brilliant combat.
Rafael Nadal struggled against Karen Khachanov but won his US Open third-round match
The giant Russian was too powerful early on as he clinched the first set 7-5 on Athur Ashe
The highlight was an extraordinary 39-shot rally on his fourth set point in the pivotal tiebreak, in which he eventually managed to overpower the 22 year-old Russian bruiser.
Nadal had not been at his best early on and had strapping