‘I was lucky, but after that I played a great level of tennis,’ says Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal says he was ‘lucky’ to be given the chance to save the first set against Jannik Sinner at the French Open, but he was happy with his tennis.

Sinner had the chance to serve for the opening set against Nadal, but fluffed his lines badly and the Italian barely got another look in after that.

In fact, after going 5-4 up in the first set, Sinner won just three more games in the rest of the match before sinking to a 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 defeat.

Nadal, though, was understandably happy that he was able to elevate his level after such a sluggish start.

“I played a very good opponent today,” Nadal said on-court after the match.

“It’s always a pleasure to be back on this court Philippe Chatrier and play in front of you.

“I started playing well the first couple of games, then I think played a little bit too defensive for a few games.

“So, I gave him the chance to go inside the court and play with his best shots. That was a mistake.

“I was lucky that I had the chance to have the break back at 5-4, and after this the match changed a lot.

“The second set I started playing great. But after that I think I played a great level of tennis, so very happy for that.”

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