Nadal leads Rotterdam winners

Feb. 11, 2009 at 8:09 PM
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ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Rafael Nadal rallied Wednesday for a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 first-round victory over Italy's Simone Bolelli at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

"It was a very tough match," the Australian Open champion admitted after a major scare. "You have the best players in the world playing this tournament so there are no easy matches."

The event at Ahoy Stadium in Rotterdam, Netherlands, was dominated Wednesday by Frenchmen.

Michael Llodra, the 2008 Rotterdam champion, beat Croatia's Ivo Karlovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; seventh-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, last week's winner at the SA Open at Johannesburg, topped local favorite Jesse Huta Galung 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4); Julien Benneteau was a 6-3, 6-2 victor against third-seeded Nikolay Davydenko; and No. 4 seed Gilles Simon beat Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5, 7-6 (7-1).

Other winners were Croat Mario Ancic, and France's Marc Gicquel, who downed Russia's Evgeny Korolev 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Gicquel replaced eighth-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden, last year's runner-up, when he withdrew because of injury.

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