Rafael Nadal ups the aggression after slow start: ‘I’m a human and when I lost the first set I was worried’
He got off to a shaky start at the Barcelona Open, but Rafael Nadal eventually got his act together to get the better of Ilya Ivashka in the second round of the Barcelona Open.
The 11-time champion lost his serve in the opening game of the match and the world No 111 broke again in the ninth game to take the opening set.
However, Nadal then broke in the first game of the second set and got an insurance policy in game four as he drew level before a single break in game seven of the decider set up the 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory in two hours and 20 minutes.
Coming through in style! 💪@RafaelNadal rallies from a set down to outlast Ivashka 3-6 6-2 6-4.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 21, 2021
“He played well. He played at a very high level, and I didn’t, especially at the beginning,” Nadal said. “And then I think I changed a little bit the way I played. I was more aggressive later, and the match changed a lot.
“I’m happy I [fought] hard today to be in the third round. That’s what I needed after the loss at Monte-Carlo.”
He added: “I think games like today will help me get back to my best level. I’m a human and when I lost the first set I was worried.
“When you come from losing a game there are always a few days of doubts and I have to recover.
“I have trained better than I have played, but it is also true that I have gone from less to more in the game.
“I have competed very little in the last year and it was important to save this match in any way.”
Up next is former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori, who took out 13th seed Cristian Garin with a 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-1 win.
Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas had an easier day at the office as he beat Spaniard Jaume Munar 6-0, 6-2 to set up a third-round clash against 14th seeded Alex de Minaur from Australia while third seed Andrey Rublev will face Albert Ramos Vinolas, who beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-4.
Novak Djokovic claims Wimbledon win No 80 and declares that ‘the love and flame for tennis still burns for me’
The six-time champion battled past Kwon Soon-woo in four sets.
The saint of Wimbledon: Jodie Burrage nurses ball boy during first-round defeat
Burrage passed out Percy Pigs to the youngster at SW19.
Wimbledon: Nerveless Cameron Norrie books spot in second round
Norrie clinched a 6-0 7-6 (3) 6-3 victory on Court Two to become the first home winner of the tournament.
ATP Rankings: Stefanos Tsitsipas back into top five thanks to first title on grass
The ATP Rankings are set to be shaken up in the next fortnight.
Carlos Alcaraz backs himself to upstage the icons at Wimbledon
Carlos Alacaraz believes he can hang with the best but has to get past Jan-Lennard Struff first.
Wimbledon supremo explains call to have Iga Swiatek open Centre Court on Tuesday
Is there anybody better for the job than Iga Swiatek?
Ons Jabeur enjoys dream opening day at Wimbledon and ‘hopes to go further than the quarter-finals’
A good day for Ons Jabeur at SW19.
Jodie Burrage to the rescue at Wimbledon as she helps unwell ball boy, feeds him sweets
The British number five attended to the youngster on Court 18.
Wimbledon chief insists banning Russian and Belarusian players ‘was the right decision’
“It was the right decision to make for the Championships.”
Wimbledon day one: Follow the action from SW19 with Tennis365’s live scores and results centre here…
Catch the action from Wimbledon with our live scores and results centre…