Rafael Nadal took on Dominic Thiem in a surprise clash on Margaret Court Arena on Friday.
Thiem won the first set in a tie-break but our champ secured the only two breaks of the match in the second to level the match. While the roof was closed, both men struggled in humid conditions and called off a third set in favour of a tiebreak. Rafa overcame dogged resistance from the Austrian to win 10-8 in the much-needed hitout. Thiem squibbed a simple overhead with the score at 8-8, allowing Rafa to close out the match. The final result was 6-7, 6-2, 10-8.
After the match, Rafa said:
The practice session was more similar to the real match, and that was the goal. I have been practicing very well, with good players. Today I had another test against one of the best players and I have passed it. It has been another good test after I had the day off on Thursday. I am satisfied to be able to keep the good feelings. With the tournament starting soon I feel more and more ready every day. (via El Pais)
Sources: Australian Associated Press, El Pais