Rafael Nadal vows to improve after struggling past Dan Evans in first match since Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal at Rogers Cup

Rafael Nadal survived a first-set scare as he battled past Dan Evans to get his Rogers Cup defence off to a solid start in Montreal.

Brit Evans looked set to cause a shock as he established a 5-2 lead in the first-set tiebreak, only to see Nadal roar back to win six of the set’s final seven points.

Evans, though, refused to go away, and Nadal was made to work very hard for his 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 win.

“Daniel is a player that combines an aggressive game with good hands,” Nadal said of his opponent.

“He’s able to read the game very well, so he knows how to play tennis in terms of tactics.

“It was a tough first set. Then in the second, I was able to take advantage at the beginning, but then he broke me back. It was so important, that [next] game again to have the break.”

It was Nadal’s first match since losing to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semi-final, and he says hes happy to be back – as well as vowing to improve.

“Always is tough, first match on hard court after such a long time.

“After Wimbledon, the mind always goes down a little bit because I have been playing a long clay-court season, then grass, so you didn’t relax.

“Then when you finish Wimbledon, it’s like your body loses a little bit of that tension, so it needs little bit of time to recover.

“Today, as I said before, the main thing is win. I know with victories that other things should be coming slowly.

“I have been playing and practising more or less well. Now is the moment to compete.

“Today I competed enough well to be through. Tomorrow is another challenge.”

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