Rafael Nadal was back on the Manolo Santana Centre Court to play his third-round match against US player Sam Querrey. The Manacor native only needed two sets to see off his opponent (6-4, 6-2) after one hour and ten minutes of play. Despite the result, Nadal had to come back in the first set after a great start from Querrey, who broke the Spaniard’s serve early and took a 4-1 lead.
Nadal, playing in a night session for the first time this year, spoke about how he found it: “It’s a different feeling. During the warm up I felt a bit strange”. The Mallorcan needed a few games to adapt his tennis to the conditions, but once he did so it was one-way traffic. “When you lose a lot of points early on, you always start to doubt yourself. So I decided to make a couple of changes and return a few metres further back and it worked”, admitted Nadal.
“I knew that if I played some longer shots for three points in a row I could get back into the match, fortunately that happened and I managed to break him at 4-2”, he added. From there the Spaniard looked solid on the court, closing out the first set and storming his way through the second.
The Manacor native was happy with his victory and is satisfied with his form since Monte Carlo: “All victories give you confidence, of course, and they help you to keep wining and, obviously, the peace of mind that winning gives you helps”.
In the quarter-finals he will meet Sousa, who sent the American Jack Sock packing. “He is a great player, we know each other very well, we have trained together in Mallorca”, and he added that the Portuguese “is very dangerous in the final rounds”. In a courtside interview, Rafael Nadal again showed his gratitude for the support of the fans at the Madrid tournament, where, in his words, he “receives the most affection”.