Wed, Oct 28, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Nadal clings on to eke out victory over nemesis Rosol

Reuters

Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns to the Czech Republic’s Lukas Rosol in their first-round match of the Swiss Indoors at the St Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, on Monday.

Photo: EPA

Third-seeded Rafael Nadal on Monday came within two points of defeat by old nemesis Lukas Rosol before sparking into life and reaching the second round of the Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel, Switzerland.

Spaniard Nadal was in all sorts of trouble, trailing by a set and 5-4, with 69th-ranked Rosol serving at 30-0, but his Czech opponent framed a basic backhand volley at 30-15 and blew his chance, Nadal going on to win 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/4).

A Rosol double fault allowed former world No. 1 Nadal to take the second set and the decider looked like a no-contest as Rosol’s challenge began to unravel.

Nadal moved a break ahead but, at 4-2, Rosol played some stunning ground strokes to earn three break points and although Nadal saved two of them, he then blazed a forehand long.

There has been no love lost between the players since Rosol stunned Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon in 2012, with Nadal gaining revenge at the same tournament last year.

Angry looks were exchanged as the decider moved into a tiebreak, in which the Spaniard trailed 3-0 before Rosol’s forehand deserted him and Nadal won seven of the next eight points to get the job done.

“It was a very tough match emotionally,” said Nadal, who lost the opening set in 23 minutes. “At the same time, it’s a great victory. It’s important for me to have these kinds of comebacks. I’ve been in these situations more times than I would like this year, so I’m happy to win a match like this.”

Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, has already booked his place at the ATP World Tour Finals despite a relatively lean year and is to play Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov or Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky in round two.

VALENCIA OPEN

Vasek Pospisil on Monday advanced to the second round of the Valencia Open following a 6-4, 6-3 win over Santiago Giraldo.

Canadian Pospisil had won all three of his previous matches against the Colombian.

Extending that record proved straightforward, as Pospisil used his big serve and powerful forehand to good effect.

“I played pretty well overall and did a good job despite a few nerves at the end. I came up with some good points and great shots and that was the key to the match,” Pospisil said.

Pospisil, 25, held his serve to love in his opening three service games before breaking Giraldo in the 10th game for the opening set.

Although the South American offered stern resistance in the second, saving four break points in a marathon 10-minute sixth game, Pospisil eventually served out the match.

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