Nadal through after scare
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:18
The newly-crowned Australian Open champion was a set down to Italy’s Simone Bolelli before fighting back to secure a 4-6 6-2 7-5 victory.
Nadal admitted he had struggled with the pace of Bolelli’s shots, saying: “In tennis, every match is very tough and I’m very happy to win the first match. He’s a very good player, he played big shots from the baseline. He improves every year, I want to congratulate him.”
Next up for the top seed is a meeting with 17-year-old Bulgarian wild card Grigor Dimitrov, who knocked out Tomas Berdych on Tuesday.
Mikhail Youzhny knocked out sixth seed David Ferrer to reach the quarter-finals. The Spaniard levelled after Youzhny had taken the first set but it was the Russian who came good again in the decider to clinch a 6-2 3-6 6-2 victory.
Defending champion Michael Llodra had to come from a set down to beat giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic and book his place in the second round. The Frenchman, who defeated Robin Soderling in the final last year, hit back to triumph 4-6 6-3 6-4 and set up a clash with fifth seed Gael Monfils.
Fourth seed Gilles Simon also came through a tight clash, the Frenchman claiming a 7-5 7-6 (7/1) win over Philipp Kohlschreiber.
He will face Croatia’s Mario Ancic in the second round after he defeated Rainer Schuettler of Germany 7-5 6-2.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who lifted the trophy in Johannesburg last week, won two tie-breaks to see off home hope Jess Huta Galung 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/4).
Marc Gicquel also progressed to the second round with a 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory over Russia’s Evgeny Korolev to set up an all-French second-round clash against Paul-Henri Mathieu.