Nadal survives scare to face Wimbledon nemesis
Rafael Nadal overcame a rocky start to his Wimbledon 2014 campaign on Tuesday to set up a second round revenge clash with his All England Club nemesis Lukas Rosol.sports Updated: Jun 24, 2014 23:18 IST
Rafael Nadal overcame a rocky start to his Wimbledon 2014 campaign on Tuesday to set up a second round revenge clash with his All England Club nemesis Lukas Rosol.
The world number one lost the first set to Slovakia's Martin Klizan, the world number 51, but recovered to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 55 minutes on Centre Court.
The Spaniard exorcised the ghosts of last year, when he tumbled out of the first round to lowly Steve Darcis.
And the second seed next faces Rosol, the previously-unheralded Czech who dumped the two-time Wimbledon champion out of the 2012 second round in a stunning Grand Slam upset.
Before downing his fellow left-hander Klizan, Nadal, 28, had not won a grass court match since the first round at the All England Club two years ago, before Rosol stopped him in his tracks.
"For me, always emotions are so high when I'm able to play on this Centre Court," Nadal said after his win.
"It's a magic place and unbelievable memories from this court so I'm very happy to be able to play on it again and for sure go out with a victory.
"I really know that it is impossible to play my best in the first round. My goal is to win and for sure the next round will be another tough one.
"Rosol is a very dangerous player, very strong, very powerful shots from the baseline and I know I have to play very well if I want to have chances to win," the reigning French Open champion said.
"The important thing is to fight, play with the right tactic and wait for the luck."
Nadal was given a time violation in the fourth set but it seemed to fire up the Spaniard as he went on to break Klizan and serve out the match.
It was Nadal's 700th tour level match win. The Mallorcan is the 11th player in the Open Era to reach the milestone.
"It's great, that means that I had a very long and successful career so I'm happy for that. But the most important thing for me, more than the 700th victory, was the victory here in the first round at Wimbledon," the 14-time Grand Slam winner said.
"Always it's so dangerous, so I'm very happy to be through."