ThrowbackTimes Madrid: Rafael Nadal makes winning start at Caja Magica

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ThrowbackTimes Madrid: Rafael Nadal makes winning start at Caja Magica
ThrowbackTimes Madrid: Rafael Nadal makes winning start at Caja Magica

The Madrid Open joined the Masters 1000 series in 2002, with seven editions on an indoor hard court. In 2009, Madrid switched from October to May and settled into a new venue at Caja Magica, also on the clay surface. In his first match at Caja Magica, the home favorite and world no.

1 Rafael Nadal scored a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Jurgen Melzer in 62 minutes. It was their second meeting, and the Spaniard had the upper hand from start to finish on a fast clay, dropping nine points in eight service games and never facing a break point.

Unable to follow that pace, Jurgen struggled to land the first serve in and gave away 46% of the points behind the initial shot, offering Rafa four break chances and failing to defend any. The Austrian made a good start and closed the opening game with a volley winner before Rafa fired a service winner a few minutes later to get his name on the scoreboard.

Melzer brought the third game home with an unreturned serve and produced another fine hold at 2-2 with a volley winner at the net.

Rafael Nadal lost four games against Jurgen Melzer in his first Caja Magica match.

Nadal held at 30 in game six and took charge after that, earning the first break with a return winner a few minutes later for a 4-3 advantage.

Rafa confirmed the advantage with a hold at love in game eight and secured another break after Melzer's double fault to grab the opener 6-3. Carried by this momentum, the Spaniard held at love at the beginning of the second set thanks to a forehand winner before the Austrian responded in the same way to end his downfall and level the score at 1-1.

Nadal never put a foot wrong behind the initial shot and delivered another hold at love thanks to a service winner that sent him 2-1 ahead. Jurgen got broken in the fourth game, with Rafa cementing the advantage thanks to a hold at 15 that sent him further ahead.

The Austrian netted a volley in game six to experience the third straight break and allowed the Spaniard to move over the top with a hold at 30 a few minutes later, celebrating the first Caja Magica triumph.

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