Rafael Nadal vs Pablo Cuevas: The US Open Week

Carlos Alcaraz reaches US Open quarterfinal with late-night win against Marin Cilic (Getty)

The second round of the US Open was supposed to be Carlos Alcaraz’s US Open week.

The Spaniard shot to the top of the ATP Race To London last week, and he’s aiming for the same thing in the US Open in his first appearance there since he withdrew from the 2015 edition.

The last time he made it to the third round at the US Open was back in 2003, when he lost to Andy Roddick in the second round.

He’ll need a win in the fourth round, where he’ll set up a meeting with Marin Cilic, who recently returned to tournament competition for the first time in nearly five years.

Rory McIlroy, who lost to Alcaraz in the third round last year, will face McEnroe in the other round, too. McIlroy’s run ended in the second round, so he’s back, though in a different form.

The rest of the schedule is a bit more interesting. Andy Murray, who just came out on top in the final round of the US Open last year, will face the winner of the next round there, so his hopes for a semifinal there won’t be diminished.

Rafael Nadal faces Pablo Cuevas, who shot 68 in his Round 1 win over Grigor Dimitrov. It’s possible that Nadal, who has been playing well of late, could get back-to-back wins here, although he has struggled against the right-hander on his path to the US Open title in the past. With the US Open’s tough draw, he’s unlikely to go 0-2.

Rafael Nadal prepares to take on Pablo Cuevas

If Nadal wins first, he’ll meet Andy Murray in the round of 16, and if Nadal loses in the semifinals, they’ll meet as one-and-done seeds.

It’s unlikely that Nadal can go 2-2 in a rematch, though. But who knows, who cares? After all, this is the US Open, and the last time Rafael Nadal made it to

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