Rafael Nadal US Open 2015 2nd Round
Rafael Nadal fires a forehand during his second round win over Diego Schwartzman at the US Open 2015Reuters

Rafael Nadal will need to bring his A-Game on Friday if he is to get the better of Fabio Fognini in the third round of the 2015 US Open.

Nadal has played well in spurts in this US Open so far, getting past Borna Coric and Diego Schwartzman in the first and second rounds respectively.

Fognini, though, will provide the Spaniard his stiffest test yet, considering the No.32 seed has already beaten Nadal twice this year, albeit on a different surface.

"He beat me twice this year," Nadal said after his straight set win over Schwartzman on Wednesday. "Before he didn't beat me. He played great in Beijing. Finally I won the match.

"He's a big, talented player. He's a tough opponent for everybody when he's playing well. So for everybody he is a tough opponent, not only for me."

Nadal of 2015 has been the shadow's shadow of the Nadal we have all come to admire and love, and the best way for the 2013 US Open champion to get back that confidence, which is still lacking, is by beating someone who handed him a defeat on two occasions this year.

It will be easier said than done, of course, but Nadal has shown signs of improvement of late, with those two wins in the first two rounds giving us more than just a glimpse of the Nadal of old.

"I understand all the time what happens [when I lose]," he added. "When you are hitting a forehand and you don't have the tempo to hit the forehand. If you want to hit the forehand here and you hit the forehand here, or you want to hit the forehand here and you hit here, it's because you are not mentally relaxed. You are not relaxed enough in your mind to do what you used to do.

"So if I have nerves, is not the problem of my coach. If I have nerves, is the problem of myself. If I am playing bad, is the same.

"During the season I feel that that nerves goes down, so I think I am at the end of all these processes that I had. With the work, with the talks with my team, with the determination to improve something, I think I am at the end of that process.

"If it is still not 100%, it is close to me forgetting that nerves. It is still there, but much less than few months ago. And now I have to keep competing, play well, and be passionate. I believe things are going to arrive well."

Where to Watch Live

Get the Result, Report and Final Score HERE

Nadal vs Fognini is set to begin after the first night match of the day -- Serena Williams vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands -- which is scheduled for a 7 pm local time (4.30 am IST, 12 am BST) start. Live coverage on TV in India will be on Ten Sports, while the match can also be watched online via live streaming on Ten Sports Live.

UK viewers can catch the match action live on Sky Sports, while the live stream option is on Sky Go. Audience in Australia can watch Nadal bs Fognini live on Fox Sports, while the third round of the US Open 2015 can also be live streamed on Foxtel Play.

Viewers in the US can catch US Open 2015 third round on Friday live on ESPN, while the live streaming option is on Watch ESPN.

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