By Barbara Galiza
(February 15, 2013) São Paulo – In an unexpected struggle, Rafael Nadal took two hours and 24 minutes to beat Carlos Berlocq, the 78th ranked player in the world, on clay. To the delight of the Brazilian crowd, the number one seed in ATP 250 São Paulo came back to beat the Argentinean in three sets, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
“Today all wins are important for me, specially after six months without playing. This is the first match I win in three sets since my return. It helps me feeling physically better and having a little more confidence in my body. I am very happy for surviving”, he said.
The Spaniard had an injury scare in the first set, serving at 3-4. Nadal was sliding on clay – that has been the aim of criticism by players during the week – at break point when his foot got stuck. He was broken and play was stopped right after, at 5-3, for the court to be fixed.
After the win, Nadal complained about the enforcement of the “25 seconds to serve” rule yet again:
“I believe it’s an unfair rule. I believe it harms the show, 25 seconds it’s not enough to play point after point after point. It seems like an error from the ATP. I hope it will be changed soon.”
In the semifinals, the world number five will play the lucky loser Martin Alund.
Barbara Galiza is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro covering the Brasil Open as media in São Paulo for Tennis Panorama. She likes tennis and writing. Sometimes she blogs, most of the time she tweets. – @fiercetennis. Follow her São Paulo updates on @TennisNewsTPN.