Rafael Nadal received an emotional and enthusiastic reception from adoring tennis fans during his first match in Brazil. It was not an easy win, but he got the job done.
Fans stayed up late to watch Nadal and David Nalbadian from Argentine, defeat the Spaniards, Pablo Andujar and Guilhermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 3-6, 11-9. The fans had reason to dance at the end, and to chant Nadal’s name as he exit The Ibirapuera Stadium. Even uncle Toni, was being called by the loud crowds waiting for authographs. Rafa and David patiently signed many authographs for the supportive fans who witness Nadal only second tour event, since his return last week, after a seven month absence.
The match was unpredictable up until the last point.The first set went to Nadal and Nalbadian 6-3. But in the second set, the Spaniards get a break and served 5-3 for the set. Drama unfolds in the third set tiebreaker, as Rafa Nadal and David Nalbadian were close to losing the match.
While his opponents were playing well, stunning Nadal with some terrific returns of serve, Nadal was making unusual, costly mistakes. He lost both service points on crucial moments in the tie breaker, and faced two match points. At this point in the match, Nadal slips and falls down on the ground, but did not get hurt. Perhaps the few seconds he took to recover helped him to regroup and play solid tennis. They turned things around and won the match 11-9.
The fans could not have asked for a more dramatic and exciting match. It became unpredictable as Rafa’s opponents won the second set .And in the third set tie breaker, Rafa’s presence in the doubles draw in Brazil was in danger. Luckily, Rafa survives his first match at the Brasil Open.
At the end, a very pleased, smiley Rafa Nadal leaves the court with his partner, Nalbadian with a great feeling, that comes after winning a match that one was very close to lose. And as great champions know, even in the face of defeat, “it ain’t over until its over.”
Lucia Hoffman – Brasil Open