Nadal saves 2 match points to enter China Open 2nd round
Beijing: Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal had to dig deep to defeat French Lucas Pouille 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 to reach the second round of the China Open on Tuesday.
World No.1 Nadal struggled to cope with Pouille’s powerful first serve, but he was more consistent in the important moments to seal the win after two hours and 31 minutes of contest, reports Efe.
One set down and trailing 4-6 in the second set tie break, the 2017 US Open champion had to save two match points, to come back in the contest winning four straight points.
Both players held serve in the third set until the 11th game, when Nadal, who recently won Laver Cup with Team Europe, managed to break Pouille’s serve for the first and only time in the match.
Winning the next game was enough for Nadal to avoid another upset by Pouille, who had defeated him in a five-set match at the 2016 US Open last 16.
In the second round, the 16-time Grand Slam champion is set to play against Russian Karen Khachanov, who defeated Chinese Di Wu 6-4, 6-2.
Earlier, Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro had a less troubled win over Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 7-6, 6-4, saving all three break points he faced during the 98-minute match.
Wild card Del Potro is scheduled to face Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, seeded no.3, who got rid of Bosnian Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.