PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal wins after shaky start in Barcelona

After a surprise defeat to Fabio Fognini at the Monte Carlo Masters, Rafael Nadal had to fight hard to hold off Leonardo Mayer on Wednesday, edging to a 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-2 win to reach the third round of the Barcelona Open.

The Argentine tried to do something that’s never happened in the Spanish legend’s career but our champ played better and the stats are still on his side – Rafa has never lost two consecutive matches on clay.

After the match, Rafa said:

It has been a tough start, not the best feeling this afternoon. I just found a way to keep going to win the match. He competed well against me and I was probably not competing very well. The attitude was correct and I worked to be able to continue in the tournament.

Rafa will face fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, who eased past Lucas Pouille 6-3, 6-1. Our champ has won all of his last four meetings with Ferrer.

17 comments

  1. So happy to see pace pick up in third set. Getting your rhythm back is the key to your game.
    Your serve must be a bit faster!! I know you have it as I have seen it many times!
    You are the best and the king of clay!
    Vamos Rafa

  2. Rafa vamosssssssssssss you can do it all the way to the finals king of clay.πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ‡β€οΈπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ❀️🎾😘❀️πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️😘😘😘😘😘🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾❀️❀️❀️❀️

  3. I think these little wobbles will be great for Rafa going forward into the clay season. He needs to get reminded that he’s being chased by EVERYONE. It better happen now rather than later. He will be much stronger for it by the time RG rolls around:)

    • Mac, I do hope you are right, but in the meantime my nerves are being torn to shreds!! Coudn’t watch sets 2 and 3 after Rafa served for first set at 5-3. Deja vu all over again, after last week.

      Trying to stay positive, but Rafa has to do his bit, too. Very hard on older fans, all these heart palpitations.

  4. Yes this was a tough one. Shots were so close to being in or out. But young man you need to get your head back into the game. Your last lost threw you off. Go find your mo job. You will be fine. Clrea the head. Get some good shots in. Good luck with David. Even tho you are good friends. Be tough stay strong. My Mr Tennis. Big fan🎾πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¦β™₯οΈπŸ˜ŠπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

  5. Congratulation Rafa well played at the end, stay aggressive in next match and stay confident, I know you can win all the way

  6. Congrats-hope this boosts your confidence and you find your form. Looking for that moment when you feel your game and belief are clicking. All the bestπŸ€πŸ’ͺπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ€›πŸ˜„β€οΈ

  7. Yeah another tough match for Rafa.But the end is sweet for the avid fans!Luv the fighting spirit of our campeon!πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

    • This is what worries me – no way SHOULD it have been a tough match. No disrespect to Mayer, but he is a journeyman player, who Rafa wd normally have destroyed for the loss of 4 games max.

      Amazing that a player of Rafa’s stature can lose confidence, the way he does from time to time. Shows he doesn’t have an inflated ego like some players I could mention. He doesn’t seem to realise what an amazing talent he has, not even after all his years at the top.

      If you have read his autobiography, you will see that Uncle Toni hammered it into him, from a young age, that he was “nothing special”, and the lesson took too well. Don’t keep saying how great Fed and Djoko are, Rafa. Time you shd realise what a great player, and great person YOU are.. Why do you think yr millions of fans love you so much?

    • ….and so is Fognini. I guess he’s resting his injured leg whilst polishing his MC trophy and wearing that sinister grin of his! 🀨😁😜

  8. YEA Rafa. Keep on fighting.

    Take that you so-called pundits who were claiming β€œNadal is in trouble.” Rafa is not only the king of clay, he is the comeback king. Just because he lost a set doesn’t mean he lost the match, thank you very much.

    RAFA ROCKS

    • To quote Paul Annacone “when Rafa loses a match on clay it’s world news”. When Rafa loses a set on clay against it’s also big news. When Rafa wins a match on clay, it’s “ho hum, what else is new?” Hard to live up to your own rep and Rafa is judged by the very highest standard: himself.

    • Well said, Margo. Well said.

      I still do not see Rafa winning this……….

      But as always, we’d see…..cheers

      Rafa rocks, uuh.

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