Rafael Nadal improved to 3-0 on Wednesday and assured Spain a perfect start to group play at the ATP Cup. The world No. 1 defeated fellow left-hander Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6(4), 6-4 in Perth.
Our champ was down a break twice in the opening set and forced to fight back each time, eventually taking out the opening set in the tiebreak.
Rafa had to save three break points when he levelled the score 3-3 in the second. But his class proved too much for the young Japanese star who dropped his serve and was unable to bounce back in the second set.
“It’s the first time I played under these heavy conditions, so the feeling on court is completely different,” Rafa said. “I played against an opponent who has started the season on fire.”
Earlier, Roberto Bautista Agut gave Spain the lead by beating Japan and concluding his Group A singles matches also with a 3-0 record.
Updated: Pablo Carreno Busta and Rafa made it 3-0 overall to Spain with a 7-6(5), 4-6, 10-6 victory, coming back from 3/6 down in the Match Tie-break, against Ben McLachlan and Go Soeda in one hour and 55 minutes.
Rafa and his teammates will now travel to Sydney, where Spain will prepare to play a tie during Friday’s night session.
Source: Wide World of Sports, ATP Tour
thank you rafa for showing us your great tennis…I really love to watch you play always…so excitingly heaven feelings 😍😘
Well done champ. Three games, three wins. Take rest and than all the best for the quarter-finals.
Congrats Rafa and team! Rafa stay well. You won against Nishioka but it was far from your best and you seemed kind of unsettled and tired. Please look after yourself – keep well and injury free.
All the best for the rest of the tournament.
Really really wish team Spain wins the ATP Cup!!!!
Thanks for the lovely photos🙏
So happy for Rafa and Pablo, I still remember these two won the 2016 Beijing doubles together but I don’t know how they won 7 points in a row in front of my eyes last night, just incredible!👏
Good luck to Team Spain against Team Belgium🍀
A remarkable performance to the Spanish Team. Thank you coaches, physios etc, who have helped you achieve a clean sweep to qualify for the quarters. So proud of your efforts and unity as a team. Wishing you all the best in your next endeavour.
Congratulations Rafa well don team Spain vamossssssssss champ love you 👍🇺🇸🎉❤️😘👍🇺🇸🇺🇸🎾❤️😘🎾❤️😘👍
The Best Player Tennis In the World… Love u Rafa
Rafa and Pablo playing doubles, what a bonus!🤗
Rafa received the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award trophy on court after the match. He thanked his fellow players for voting for him and would like to be remembered as a good person than a good player.
Rafa, you are an amazing person and player👍❤️ so proud to be one of your many loyal fans!
Good luck Team Spain in the quarterfinals🍀
The award presentation was so nice. I too thought Rafa’s comments were wonderful. He is a good person on and off the court. We will never see him act the way some players have during this tournament.
I agreed with you, va4favre.
Nishioka made Rafa work so hard for the victory!
Congratulations to Team Spain👏