HomeTennisRafael Nadal survives scare from Belgium qualifier Zizou Bergs to pass Italian...

Rafael Nadal survives scare from Belgium qualifier Zizou Bergs to pass Italian Open first round


Related stories


Rafael Nadal survived a tough scare from Belgian qualifier Zizou Bergs to go past the opening round in the Italian Open on Thursday (May 9). Going down in the first set 4-6, Nadal had a herculean task ahead but the former world number one was up for the challenge and came back in style to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that lasted over more than 3 hours.

Nadal, the 10-time Italian Open champion who is on the road to a comeback following a plethora of injuries, wasn’t at his best which gave a good chance to the 24-year-old. The Spaniard struggled with his movement and pace in the opening set, however, the experienced player found his footing and his signature fighting spirit in the next two sets. The turning point proved to be when Nadal broke Bergs’ serve in the third game of the second set, paving way for a thrilling comeback.

Talking about the third set, it saw both players exchanging breaks and displaying their grit and determination. Nadal’s experience and fighting spirit proved to be the difference-maker as he won 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to move ahead in the Italian Open, Masters 1000 tournament in Rome.

After the match, Nadal said, “It was not my best match. I was practising better than how I played today without a doubt but I found a way to win.”

“That is so important at the beginning of the tournament. My game is more unpredictable than before. I didn’t play much tennis for the past two years, so it is up and down. I think I can do much better than I did today and hope I can do it in the next round,” he added.

Nadal will now lock horns with Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, facing the seventh seed for the first time in hisn decade-long career. The Spanish maestro will be eager to make a strong statement in the Italian Open, ahead of the French Open which kicks off later this month.

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories