Rafael Nadal pushed by Lucas Pouille, but advances at 2017 China Open

By The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 3, 2017 at 6:35 PM
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Rafael Nadal was back on the court for the first time since winning last month's U.S. Open and was pushed before beating Lucas Pouille in Tuesday's opening round of the China Open in Beijing.

The top-seeded Nadal lost the opening set before recovering for a 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5 victory over the Frenchman.

"Was a very tough first round, as I say the other day," said Nadal, referring to his loss to Pouille in five sets at the 2016 U.S. Open. "He played well, I think. Very aggressive, he's serving well. For me was little bit difficult at the beginning. Then I started to play better, I think.

"But still, I didn't have the control of the match for almost all the time."

The third set was tied 5-5 before Nadal broke Pouille's service and then closed out the victory.

Pouille delivered 46 winners but also had 47 unforced errors.

Nadal next faces Russian Karen Khachanov, who posted a 6-4, 6-2 victory over wild-card Di Wu of China.

Second-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany also advanced with a 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory over Brit Kyle Edmund. Third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria outlasted Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

Also, sixth-seeded American John Isner recorded a 6-2, 6-3 win over Tunisia's Malek Jaziri and eighth-seed Australian Nick Kyrgios was a 6-1, 6-2 winner over Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Wild-card Juan Martin del Potro advanced with a 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory over Pablo Cuevas in a battle of Argentinians. Another player from Argentina, Leonardo Mayer, also moved on with a 7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-4 victory over Italian Paolo Lorenzi.

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