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Nadal battles past Andujar for Rio final

Published on February 23, 2014 by   ·   No Comments

In the women’s semi-finals of this combined WTA and ATP event, top-seeded Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic closed in her first WTA title in almost a decade with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over unseeded Brazilian Teliana Pereira.

Nadal needed two hours and 46 minutes to secure the narrow victory and set up a meeting with Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Dolgopolov toppled second-seeded David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 to book his first ATP World Tour final since October 2012.

Since winning in Portoroz in late 2005, Zakopalova has lost five straight finals. She next faces fifth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan, who beat qualifier Nastassja Burnett of Italy 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Nadal reached his third final in three ATP tournaments this year with a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (12/10) triumph, but the determined Andujar, seeded eighth, made him work until the bitter end.

He won the last of his three ATP titles in August of 2012, when he beat Tommy Haas in the final at Washington.

Nara, who reached her first WTA final, won the first four games of the third set to take control of the match.

World number one Rafael Nadal survived two match points in a three-set victory over fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar on Saturday to reach the final of the Rio Open tennis tournament.

Andujar saved the match point with a forehand winner, then mustered two match points of his own before Nadal finally sealed the win on his fourth match point, when Andujar smacked a forehand into the net.

“I was very nervous in the second set, but when we started the third I just tried to focus on every point,” she said. “I’m very surprised because it’s on clay, and I prefer hard, but I’m very excited because it’s my first final.”

Dolgopolov, who had won just one of his eight prior meetings with Spain’s world number five Ferrer, needed just 84 minutes to get past him this time.

After a late exchange of breaks in the third set sent the match to a tiebreaker, it was Nadal who had the first chance to put the match away, at 6-5 in the decider.


Posted by on February 23, 2014, 8:00 am. Filed under Sports, Tennis.
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