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Nadal fends off Troicki challenge
January 14, 2008 20:18 IST
Last Updated: January 14, 2008 23:09 IST
Second seed Rafael Nadal [Images] survived an early test of his Australian Open credentials, battling to a 7-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over Viktor Troicki, a Serbian qualifier in his first Grand Slam appearance.
Showing no signs of nerves, world number 126 Troicki forced a set point at 6-5 in the first set and led 4-2 in the second before Nadal finally wore him down to clinch victory in two hours, 35 minutes.
"He played very, very aggressively," Nadal said in a courtside interview.
"Today I was struggling at some times in the match. I couldn't get the rhythm in the beginning but in the third set I think I played a bit better."
In the cool evening conditions, Nadal missed the chance to serve out for the first set at 5-4 and then had to save a set point in the 12th game, before winning the tiebreak 7-3.
Troicki then broke in the third game of the second set on his way to a 4-2 lead but Nadal levelled at 4-4 and after pinching the set, he eased through the third to win a match that finished in the early hours of Tuesday.