Rafael Nadal has defeated Daniel Brands of Germany in the first round of the ongoing French Open. Nadal won the match in four sets by 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-3.
Nadal was expected to secure an easy win against a player who was much lower in world rankings than him, but, that didn’t quite happen. The German youngster didn’t let Nadal walk away with easy points. He matched the Spanish superstar shot for shot in the first couple of sets. However, he lost his focus in the last two sets and ended up losing the match.
In the post match interview, Brands said, “When you face a great player like Rafa, you need to play well right through the match. You can’t afford to relax even for a single second when you are up against him. I started well, but, lost my way after the second set and the match slipped away from me.”
In the first set, both the players held their serve in the first 8 games. Brands got a breakthrough in the 9th game to get ahead by 5-4 and then, held his serve in the 10th game to seal the set by 6-4.
In the second set, there were no breakthroughs in the first 12 games and the scorecard was showing 6-6 when the 12th game got over. The set was extended to the tie breaker in which Nadal had a poor start. He got down by 0-3, but, he recovered well from there and won 7 out of the next 8 points to win the tie breaker and the second set as well.
In the third set, Nadal broke Brands’ serve in the very first game and served out the next game to take a lead of 2-0. Thereafter, he just held his remaining serve and won the set by 6-4
Nadal continued playing fluently in the fourth set as well. With a couple of serve breaks, he sealed it by 6-3 and wrapped up the match.
In the next round, Nadal will face Martin Klizan of Slovakia.