Nadal Earns Berth in French Open Round of 16

Rafael Nadal

By Ros Satar

(June 1, 2013) PARIS – Rafael Nadal has his most straightforward progression this tournament, winning his third round match against Fabio Fognini 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4.

After having his schedule disrupted heavily by the rain, on-lookers feared it would be another first set drop when Fognini broke to lead the defending champion.

Fighting back to force a tie-break, the Italian lost the first set 7-6(5) but showed plenty of passion out there on the court.

However, normal service was resumed on Nadal’s terms, as took the second set.

It looked as though things were a foregone conclusion in the third set, as Nadal led 5-1, but Fognini characteristically mounted a comeback, eventually clawing back 3 games but losing 6-4.

It is the very unpredictability of Fognini that can cause players issues, and Nadal acknowledged that he would have to play better again next time.

“When you win without playing your best, you have the chance to play better.”

Nadal did have praise for the mercurial Italian, saying: “In the past I think he played much more up and downs than he’s playing today.

“He needs to keep working in this line to have every year less up and downs.

“If that happens, he has very good conditions to be a very good player.”

Nadal’s focus is now a day off with practice, having missed a practice day with playing two matches back to back.

There is room for improvement in his game, and his movement, and with the business end of the tournament approaching, the time is now to make those adjustments.

“I am not playing well here for the moment, but we are in the second week.

“Now we start the moment that I need to change a little bit my dynamic.

“I have my opportunity on Monday, and I really have big hopes that I will have the chance to change that. “