Pablo Andujar recalls Rio Open thriller clash against Rafael Nadal
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 2445
Spanish tennis player Pablo Andujar still remembers perfectly his Rio Opent thriller clash against 19-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. Andujar, ranked at No. 53 in the world, fell just short of claiming the biggest win of his career against Nadal on the clay courts of Rio de Janeiro in 2014.
Back then, world No. 2 Nadal saved two match points before claiming a narrow 2-6 6-3 7-6 (10) win over Andujar in their semifinal meeting at the Rio Open. "I had two match points against Rafa Nadal and the last set ended at 12-10 in the tie break for him.
It was the best match of my life. This is the most emotional moment I can remember as a tennis player," Andujar said, as revealed on We Love Tennis France. Back then, former world No. 32 Andujar made a fast start to the match as he broke the former world No.
2 twice in the first set to comfortably take the opener. Nadal, a record 12-time French Open champion, bounced back in the second set as he claimed his first break of the match and saved break points in two games to force a decider.
After saving break points in each of his opening two service games of the third set, Nadal broke Andujar to take a 4-3 lead -- but his lead was short-lived as he got broken back in the following game. Nadal's inconsistent play continued in the tie-break but Andujar failed to capitalize as the world No. 2 saved two math points before converting his fourth match point to avoid a shock loss.