Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Rafael Nadal - Sticky Start *UPDATED WITH PHOTOS*

Courtesy: ATP

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal was forced to play three sets in his 2012 ATP World Tour season debut Tuesday, but came away with a 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

After winning the first set, Nadal fell behind 4-1 to the German before winning three straight games to even the second set. The two battled their way into a tie-break, and it was Kohlschreiber who grabbed an early mini break, closing the breaker out with ease to send the match to a deciding third set.

Kohlschreiber broke to begin the final set, but was unable to maintain his advantage, dropping serve in the ensuing game. Nadal converted a second break to move ahead 3-1, and finished off the match with a routine service game to take the hard-fought meeting in two hours and 33 minutes.

The Spaniard, who improved to a perfect 8-0 record against Kohlschreiber with the win, is bidding to lift his first trophy at the event in his fifth appearance. He finished runner-up to Nikolay Davydenko in 2010.

Nadal advances to play Denis Gremelmayr. The German qualifier dismissed Potito Starace 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 13 minutes.

I saw nothing of the match today, I couldn't even follow on live scores.   No idea who this Denis guy is but hopefully the match will be less taxing than today.

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