Tennis: Rafael Nadal completes 'roof' double at US Open

Rafael Nadal of Spain after beating Andreas Seppi of Italy on day three of the 2016 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Aug 31, 2016.
Rafael Nadal of Spain after beating Andreas Seppi of Italy on day three of the 2016 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Aug 31, 2016.PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rafael Nadal boasted after his first-round US Open match that he had a video recording of being the first player to hit a ball in practice under the new roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

On Wednesday, the fourth-seeded Spaniard achieved the double as he hit the first ball in competition under the US$150 million (S$204.72 million) roof after rain briefly interrupted his second-round match against Italian Andreas Seppi.

The crowd looked skyward at the spectacle of the high-tech closure and roared in approval when the two sides met above the court in five minutes, 35 seconds.

Play resumed seven minutes, 22 seconds after the stoppage with Nadal serving at 3-3 in the second set before he completed a 6-0, 7-5, 6-1 victory over Seppi that lifted him to a third-round match against Russian Andrey Kuznetsov.

The Spaniard was aglow after his victory and being part of the first match played under the Ashe Stadium roof.

"I was very happy to be the first player to play in the competition with this fantastic roof closing," he said. "Amazing, unbelievable."