Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal wasn't convincing against top-ranked Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori but still he was "very satisfied" with his performance. Nadal, seeded at No. 1 in the Barcelona main draw, handed a 6-0 2-6 6-2 loss to 2014 US Open runner-up Nishikori to make the Barcelona quarterfinal.
Nadal got off to a fast start to the match as he broke Nishikori three times and lost no service games in the first set to easily claim the opener. After a terrible start to the match, Nishikori found his game in the second set as he broke Nadal twice to force a decider.
Nishikori had a chance to make a great start to the third set but he failed to convert any of his three consecutive break points in the opening game. Nishikori paid the price for not realizing his chance as Nadal dominated the rest of the third set to earn a win.
“I think I played much better than yesterday; that’s a very important thing for me,” Nadal said on court, per the ATP website. “The level of positive energy [was] higher, so [I’m] very satisfied”.
Nadal survives another three-setter
On Wednesday, Nadal recovered from a set down to beat Ilya Ivashka in his opener at the tournament. “He played well. He played at a very high level, and I didn’t, especially at the beginning,” Nadal said in an on-court interview after beating Ivashka.
“And then I think I changed a little bit the way I played. I was more aggressive later, and the match changed a lot. I’m happy I [fought] hard today to be in the third round. That’s what I needed after the loss at Monte-Carlo”.
Last week, Nadal suffered a shock quarterfinal loss at the Monte Carlo Masters. “I’m sure that I’m going to have the chance to play better, and I’m going to fight for it,” Nadal said. “I have the confidence that I’m not very far [from playing well], even if the last two matches [here and in Monte-Carlo] haven’t been perfect.
But here I am, and I am with the right energy to try hard. It’s a process… I’m confident that by working every day I’m going to find [right] the solutions”.