Rafael Nadal has admitted that he was ‘worried’ when he lost the first set to Ilya Ivashka at the Barcelona Open.
Nadal eventually came though, improving solidly throughout the match before closing out a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win.
The first set was uncharacteristically poor from Nadal, though, as he was able to hit just two winners in the nine games that were played.
And, especially considering it came so soon after losing in Monte-Carlo to Andrey Rublev, Nadal said it was vital to find a way to win.
“Today I don’t think he played at the level of his ranking,” Nadal said of Ivashka.
“He played well and I didn’t do it and the game was tough and I accepted the challenge of fighting and running to win.
“I think games like today will help me get back to my best level. I’m a human and when I lost the first set I was worried.
“When you come from losing a game there are always a few days of doubts and I have to recover.
“I have trained better than I have played, but it is also true that I have gone from less to more in the game.
“I have competed very little in the last year and it was important to save this match in any way.”
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