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Nadal comes from behind to win

ESPN staff
May 31, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »


It was a case of deja vu for Rafael Nadal as the Spaniard came from a set down to register a 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3 victory over Martin Klizan to reach the third round of the French Open.

In his opening encounter of the tournament against Daniel Brands, Nadal dropped the first set but fought back to win in four, and the record seven-time champion repeated the feat on Friday to progress to the next round - a day later than scheduled due to the match being rained off on Thursday.

Klizan was not fazed with the task which faced him as he went toe-to-toe with Nadal from the baseline early on, and it was evident the left-hander was going to be tough for Nadal to grind down.

With no breaks of serve after six games, a terrible attempted drop shot from Nadal in the seventh enabled Klizan to secure the first break - set up with some powerful hitting which Nadal struggled to get a racket onto.

With two clean winners - the first a ferocious forehand and the second a backhand which pitched perfectly on the line - Klizan consolidated the break with a love game along with a second serve ace.

Nadal looked out-of-sorts and made plenty of unforced errors, and on his second set point Klizan clinched the opener to stun the Spaniard.

With the tremendous record Nadal has at Roland Garros, the crowd expected nothing less as the champion ripped into Klizan right from the off in the second set, as he raced into a 4-0 lead in 18 minutes.

Klizan recovered one of the double breaks and reduced the deficit to two at 4-2, but Nadal ensured he would be back on level terms in the match by holding serve.

Klizan secured a vital service game to open the third set as the momentum threatened to move decisively with Nadal. However, when Nadal made it 1-1, the Spaniard seized the break in the third when Klizan clipped the top of the net, and Nadal's uncle Toni was on his feet to applaud his man.

Nadal battled to save two break points in the sixth game as Klizan let him off the hook with a couple of erratic shots - which resulted in Klizan hitting the ball to the ground in frustration at the great opportunity disappearing.

The champion now had the measure of Klizan, and very quickly Nadal wrapped up the third set to put some daylight between himself and his opponent.

Klizan was unable to make the most of breaking Nadal back for 2-1 in the fourth, and with it the latter pressed home his advantage to open a healthy three-game lead, before closing out the win.

Richard Gasquet wasted little time in reaching the third round as the Frenchman swept past Michal Przysiezny 6-6 6-3 6-0, winning the third in just 20 minutes.

He will now face former World Tour Finals champion Nikolay Davydenko, who was also a winner on Friday as the Russian completed a 6-4 7-5 6-2 victory over Denis Istomin.

Later in the day, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga set up a fourth round meeting with Viktor Troicki after overcoming compatriot Jeremy Chardy 6-1 6-2 7-5.

Tsonga is perhaps the greatest hope of a home winner next weekend, and showed good form to despatch Chardy with little fuss. His reward is a meeting with Troicki, who overcame the dangerous tenth seed Marin Cilic in straight sets.

Elsewhere, Tommy Haas beat one American - Jack Sock - to set up a meeting with another, John Isner. Kevin Anderson ended Milos Raonic's championship ambitions to book a tasty tie with David Ferrer, who had too much for fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

Other winners on Friday included Stanislas Wawrinka, Tommy Robredo - who ended Gael Monfils' adventure in a thrilling five-setter - and Mikhail Youzhny.

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