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