World No. 2 Rafael Nadal defeated training partner Jannik SInner 7-5, 6-4 in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Wednesday.
Local hope Sinner pushed Rafa by claiming early breaks in both sets but our champ hit back to win in two hours and 10 minutes.
Rafa will face 13th seed Denis Shapovalov in round three after the Canadian’s 7-6 6-3 victory over Italian wildcard Stefano Travaglia.
After the match, Rafa said:
“I hit some very good forehands, cross-courts too to avoid his great backhand cross, and then he has a great change down the line, no? So I think I did that well. Is not a surprise for me. No, I know how good he is and the shots he has. He has great shots when he’s running. He has always great comebacks from tough positions, no? So, yeah, I know that. I was on the court with big respect for him and very focused every single moment. That’s why I am here with a victory.”
The tie finished at 9.40pm local time in Rome and Rafa will return to play his next match at 1pm on Thursday.