Rafael Nadal begins his Hamburg Open campaign with a three-set victory
World No.10 and 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal overcame an opening set loss to beat fellow countrymen Fernando Verdasco 3-6 6-1 6-1 in the first round of the 2015 Hamburg Open on Tuesday, reports the Guardian.
Playing his first competitive match since his second-round loss to Dustin Brown at Wimbledon, the 28-year-old, who received a wildcard tp participate in the tournament, found it hard to get off the blocks in the beginning and was broken twice by Verdasco in the opening set, which he lost 3-6.
However, Nadal found his stripes and stormed back into the contest to win the next 2 sets in convincing fashion and move into the second round of the competition. He converted 6 out of the 11 break point opportunities and won 64% of the first serve points and fired in 2 aces, en route to an hour and 56-minute win.
This was the Spaniard first match on his favoured clay surface since his quarterfinal loss to Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros in May. This is also the first time since 2008 that Nadal is playing the Hamburg Open.
The Spaniard, then, was perhaps on top of his game and won the tournament, by beating Roger Federer in the final, but the same can't be said now and he would be hoping for an encore 7 years later. He would face the winner of the match between Jiri Vesley of Czech Republic and Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria in the second round.
Talking after his victory, Nadal said it was an important win for him and expressed happiness at the manner in which he bounced back after losing the opening set.
“It’s a very important victory. For my mentality, it is important to finish the match better than how I started. To be able to make that change during the match was a very positive thing to me. I’m just happy [with] the way I came back,” the Spaniard was quoted as saying on the ATP’s official website.
Final Scoreline- Rafael Nadal beat Fernando Verdasco 3-6 6-1 6-1