Rafael Nadal had a pretty cozy draw through the first three rounds according to some of the previews that examined his situation before the start of play at Flushing Meadows. However part of that coziness had to do with Richard Gasquet facing Nadal in the third round. Gasquet, to date, has never beaten The Spaniard in over a dozen attempts and the two looked destined to face one another in the third round at Flushing Meadows this season. However, Gasquet fell in the first round on Wednesday, and that could be bad news for Nadal. It could make for a harder match up for the Spaniard when the third round is played later this week.

Nadal might have to face Mayer

Gasquet fell to Leonardo Mayer on Wednesday, an Argentine player that has under-rated abilities on tour. Mayer recently won a 500-series event at ATP Hamburg, and he appears to be in very good form. He defeated Gasquet in four sets and will next face Yuichi Sugita in the second round. Sugita himself is playing the best tennis of his career at the age of 28. He recently won a title on grass, the only title of his career. It's true that Mayer's and Sugita's titles are low-tiered ones. However, even the lower-tiered titles require a strong week of tennis. Nadal might have been better off putting his 15-0 record against Gasquet to the test in the third round than facing either of Mayer or Sugita at that point, especially the former.

Nadal scheduled for Thursday

Nadal still needs to book his spot in the third round. He does stand an excellent chance of winning his second-round match as he had a rest day on Wednesday while Taro Daniel and Tommy Paul battled it out in a five setter. The winner of that match was Daniel, and that's who Nadal will face in the next round.

Daniel and Nadal are on the schedule of play for Thursday from Flushing Meadows. They will close the evening session at Arthur Ashe Stadium, to follow a women's match involving American-player Coco Vandeweghe.

But while a victory over Daniel seems very probable, Nadal could have trouble in the next round. Either Mayer or even Sugita should have a lot of confidence.

Nadal entered Flushing Meadows behind some surprise losses this summer. Furthermore, he hasn't won a hard-court event since way back in early 2014. There doesn't seem to be danger in the water in round two, but there's some mild-upset potential in round three following the elimination of Gasquet. Looking further ahead Tomas Berdych is a potential fourth-round opponent, but he is a player that Nadal has done well against over the years.