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Rafael Nadal digs deep to capture Madrid Masters title

By Abhimanyu Nagpal    + Follow

Reads: 837, Comments: 2

Keywords: Mutua Madrid Open | Rafael-Nadal | Kei-Nishikori
Rafael Nadal digs deep to capture Madrid Masters title
At the start of the year, World No.1 Rafael Nadal got injured at a pivotal stage in his battle against Stanislas Wawrinka in the finals of the Australian Open and most considered that loss to be slightly unfortunate. Today, though, the Spaniard was more than just slightly fortunate as he rallied from a set down to capture the Mutua Madrid Open title, but not before his opponent - Kei Nishikori suffered a painful back injury at a crucial juncture of the match.

World No.1 Rafael Nadal had the gods to thank here at the Magic Box in Madrid as he came back from a set down to register a win against Japan's Kei Nishikori in the final of the Madrid Masters.

Having been completely outplayed in the opening set, the King of Clay was down 2-4 in the second set, before finally recovering to win the match in three sets as the 24 year-old pulled out with a back injury.

The Spaniard may have showed a lot of heart in the way he fought back, but it was one of his more unconvincing wins and it will do nothing to inspire confidence in him or his fans who were thoroughly underwhelmed with what they saw from the Spaniard today.

With Kei on the offensive right from the word go, Rafa was restricted to rally from the back of the court and was almost always on the back foot. He managed a total of 11 winners against his opponent’s 17 in that 2-6,6-4,3-0 win. The decisive statistic of the match, though, was his 18 unforced errors compared to the Japanese’s 30.

The intriguing battle lasted an hour and 41 minutes, and the Majorcan will be the first one to tell you that he got incredibly fortunate to come out on top today.

Click here to re-live the intensity of this battle!

After 36 minutes of swashbuckling tennis from the Japanese, the first set reached its conclusion as he took the set to two. It was the most incredible set from him, as he got two breaks of serve – the first in the third game and the second in the fifth. Those two games combined with three service holds saw him win five games on the trot, with Rafa looking absolutely clueless.

Despite being able to put a halt to that run, the King of Clay was made to look second best as he didn’t have any answers to Nishikori’s fantastic baseline play. Rafa committed as many as 12 errors and looked very short of confidence.

At the start of the second set, the Spaniard’s biggest fears seem to be coming true as the Japanese broke serve and then continued to dominate rallies from the back of the court. After four games of the second set, Kei had taken a 3-1 lead and had won 9 out of the last 11 games as Rafa continued to struggle.

Rafa, who is widely regarded as the game’s fiercest fighter, never lost focus of the task at hand and persevered till he finally got a break of serve back in the eighth game. It must, however, be mentioned that it was at this stage when that Nishikori received treatment for his back and was never quite the same following it. The World No.1, on the other hand, wasn’t complaining as he went about the job at hand professionally, winning the last four games of the set to get back on level terms.

After dropping that second set, Kei decided to take the injury time out and went to get his back looked at. Unfortunately for the 24 year-old, he never recovered from the injury and the pain was more than visible on his face when he started the deciding set.

He lost the first three games of the set and it was at that stage that the pain became unbearable for the Japanese who, heartbreakingly, had to throw in the towel.

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Posted By bose4dk,   Posted about 1861 days and 4 hours ago

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hm nt sure it gonna up his confidence or not...

Posted By bindra2010,   Posted about 1862 days and 7 hours ago

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King of Clay, I wonder! He was nowhere against Kei until Kei's back gave in.



US Open, Men Singles  Final
Kei Nishikori (JPN) 0 3 3 3
Marin Cilic (CRO) Winner 3 6 6 6
Nishikori - Cilic    3 - 6    3 - 6    3 - 6   
Served By: M Cilic Won By: Cilic
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