QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN 2014
Nadal Passes Rosol Test, Next Plays Kamke
by ATP Staff|
Nadal came through a tough test against Rosol, 6-2, 7-6(7), at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Rosol served for the second set at 5-4, but had his serve broken. In the tie-break, Nadal opened up a 6-3 lead but Rosol fought back to ensure a tense finale.
"Today, first match of the season, always a little bit nervous playing against a player that I lost to last time," said Nadal. "I had a lot of chances in the beginning of the second. I finished the first set playing a little bit better. The second set I had a lot of mistakes in that important moments, too, but in my opinion I should go and make the difference on the score from the beginning. So then became very close, everything, and I was close to lose the set."
Rosol beat Nadal 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the 2012 Wimbledon second round. The loss marked the start of the seven-month absence for Nadal, who was on the sidelines until February 2013 with a knee injury.
"I was a little bit nervous," admitted Nadal. "I didn't have a great memory of the last match playing against him. After that match I didn't play [a] match in a tennis court for almost eight months, so it was a bad feeling in that moment."
Nadal, the 2010 runner-up, will play Tobias Kamke in the second round.
World No. 9 and defending champion Richard Gasquet needed 68 minutes to get by wild card Karim Hossam in the night session, 7-5, 6-1. The Frenchman capitalised on six of his seven break points to set up a second-round meeting with countryman Gael Monfils.
Gasquet, who defeated Nikolay Davydenko in the 2013 final, recorded 50 match wins last season.
Marrero/Verdasco Upset In Opener
David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco, who capped off their 2013 season with the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title, were upset in their 2014 season opener. The second-seeded Spaniards fell to Oliver Marach and Florin Mergea 6-3, 6-7(5), 12-10.
Top seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares and third seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo fared better in their first-round matches. Peya and Soares dismissed Malek Jaziri and Mousa Shanan Zayed 6-1, 6-4, while Dodig and Melo prevailed against Lukasz Kubot and Marcin Matkowski 6-4, 4-6, 10-4.