Nadal needs three sets to kick-start cranky game

February 12th, 2009 - 2:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Rafael NadalRotterdam (The Netherlands), Feb 12 (DPA) World No.1 Rafael Nadal made life difficult as he missed early chances before finally overcoming Simone Bolelli 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to reach the second round of the ABN-AMRO World Tennis tournament.
Top seed Nadal, who lost in the second round at the event a year ago, spent two and a half hours Wednesday against Bolelli, failing to earn an early break in the opening set and missing on a 40-0 opportunity in the second.

But sheer determination saw the Spaniard through 10 days after winning the Australian Open over Roger Federer. He next faces Bulgarian teenager Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday night.

“I deserved this win,” said Nadal. “I had all of the chances and he didn’t, I also had two match points. I picked up my game in the third set and started serving better.

“I found my rhythm, but I had a bad game in the first set before I started playing better. I’m in the second round and I expect a better result. I’m hoping to play better.

“I’m very happy to win this match. I’ll have to try hard in the next one,” said the 10-1 player this season.

A quartet of Frenchmen advanced with fourth seed Gilles Simon leading the way as he accounted for 38th-ranked German Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5, 7-6 (7-1).

“I had a terrible practice on Sunday here with Richard (Gasquet),” said the world number eight winner from Nice. “That’s why I asked to start only on Wednesday.

“I’ve not been able to train a lot and had no idea about how it would go.”

Croatian Mario Ancic, losing finalist at the weekend at home in Zagreb, was too much for Rainer Schuettler, with the veteran exiting 7-5, 6-2.

But the success story continued for France as seventh seed and last week’s Johannesburg champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made a winning debut at the event, beating Dutch number 177 wild card France Jesse Huta Galung 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4).

2008 Australian Open finalist Tsonga fired 15 aces in his win.

Defending champion Michael Llodra of France dulled the serving prowess of Ivo Karlovic, winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in their first-round encounter as the Croatian fired 25 aces.

Frenchman Marc Gicquel secured the day’s fourth Gallic victory over Russian Evgeny Korolev 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The 2007 champion Mikhail Youzhny earned the first quarter-final berth in an upset of Spanish sixth seed David Ferrer, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.

The 26-year-old Russian Youzhny is riding his lowest ranking in seven years on 62nd, the result of last year’s Australian Open quarter-finalist dropping points after he lost in the Melbourne first round three weeks ago.

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