Rafa had been two sets up but 0-3 down in the third when rain caused the tie to be suspended late Monday. He quickly levelled at 3-3 on Tuesday, saved four break points in the eighth game before saving four set points. Rafa eventually claimed the match on a third match point when Bolelli dumped a forehand into the net.
After the match, Rafa said:
I really suffered today but it was a good test.
It was a very difficult match. Simone played very well, very aggressively. He had a lot of chances in the third set.
But I am happy to have won here on this court, the most important of my career.
Our champ next faces Guido Pella for a place in the last 32.