PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal’s first official win of 2016

(AP) Rafael Nadal won his first match of the new season 6-7 (5) 6-3, 6-1 against Spanish countryman Pablo Carreno at the Qatar Open on Tuesday.

In the first-set tiebreaker, Rafa saved three set points, but lost the fourth on a Carreno forehand winner he could only watch go past.

He took early control of the final two sets. He posted 30 winners and took advantage of five of nine break points in the two-hour match.

Our champ will next face Robin Haase.


  1. Congratulations to you Rafa. I was not able to watch the match but I will catch in replay. Sooooo glad you were victorious. Please stay healthy and confident Rafa. I know you can do it. God bless you. Love you, Marylynn.

  2. Congratulations Rafael. I will be praying for you in your second challenge at Doha. Unfortunately I am having emergency surgery on my left eye n hope I would have recovered in time to attend the Australian Open. Vamos Rafa. God Bless You. Your Aussie Abuela. 😀😊😇🎈🎈

  3. Vamos Rafa! I have the match recorded on Eurosport and cannot wait to watch it. Fantastic start to 2016!

  4. Wow, haters still here in 2016.

    If RAFA, is not performing to your standards, go find the player that does, NOVAK comes to mind. I think he has a fan site, not sure and DON’T CARE.

    INSANITY is talking daily, how RAFA has disappointed you. I am really sorry that you have no one else to follow around and speak negatively about.

    True fans, are there with RAFA in good and bad, with words of encouragement if necessary.

    RAFA fan forever, without any doubt.

    Unto the next match RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • It’s about Rafa’s standards, not mine. He’s lowered them – instead of raising them like Novak did – and has no injury or other excuse for doing so, except for the fact that he stubbornly and stupidly refuses to hire a REAL coach to help him end his two-year slump in tournament results, especially in the slams. That’s totally unacceptable to TRUE fans like myself and a few others here, but obviously quite acceptable to PSEUDO fans like yourself.

  5. Rafa needed 3 sets to beat Pablo Carreno in the 1st round of Doha. Not a good sign for the upcoming season. Abu Dhabi & IPTL were exhibition matches. The REAL season began today for our favorite player. In the old days, he would win these early round matches 6-2, 6-2. But not anymore. Now – nearly every match is a struggle for him. Nearly every match is a nail-biter. Except for his blowout losses to Novak. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    • Why are you still a fan? A match is played by two people. You seem to think that while the top players are improving (how can they not?), the rest of the field is not (how can they?).

  6. I was a bit worried after the first set since Busta was playing more aggressively than Rafa. Thankfully, Rafa stepped it up in the second and third sets. I am hoping he can go deep in Doha even if he gets no points.

  7. VAMOS DEAR RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) FIVE FABULOUS ACES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Happy New Year !!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) That was a solid opening victory!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Your serve & volleys & RETURNS are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) So is your movement & reach & speed…….Congratulations on delivering your beautiful TENNIS & passionate command of the court !!!!!! GREAT match & a sweet victory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) ci….ci….ci Senior…..You have that unbelievable muscles strength plus your forward wisdom always knowing to play YOUR OWN GAME & keeping the focus on the next point!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was a fantastic solid win!!!!! VAMOS sweetheart !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy EVERYTHING & have a beautiful evening celebrating with your awesome group & team !!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) VAMOS………..VAMOS…………..VAMOS…………… !!!!!!! : ) : )

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