ATP Tour

Nadal survives scare in Rio

Rafael Nadal (AP Photo)
Rafael Nadal (AP Photo)

Rio de Janeiro - World number one Rafael Nadal survived two match points in a three-set victory over fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar on Saturday to reach the final of the Rio Open tennis tournament.

Nadal reached his third final in three ATP tournaments this year with a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (12/10) triumph, but the determined Andujar, seeded eighth, made him work until the bitter end.

After a late exchange of breaks in the third set sent the match to a tiebreaker, it was Nadal who had the first chance to put the match away, at 6-5 in the decider.

Andujar saved the match point with a forehand winner, then mustered two match points of his own before Nadal finally sealed the win on his fourth match point, when Andujar smacked a forehand into the net.

Nadal needed two hours and 46 minutes to secure the narrow victory and set up a meeting with Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Dolgopolov toppled second-seeded David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 to book his first ATP World Tour final since October 2012.

He won the last of his three ATP titles in August of 2012, when he beat Tommy Haas in the final at Washington.

Dolgopolov, who had won just one of his eight prior meetings with Spain's world number five Ferrer, needed just 84 minutes to get past him this time.

In the women's semi-finals of this combined WTA and ATP event, top-seeded Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic closed in her first WTA title in almost a decade with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over unseeded Brazilian Teliana Pereira.

Since winning in Portoroz in late 2005, Zakopalova has lost five straight finals. She next faces fifth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan, who beat qualifier Nastassja Burnett of Italy 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Nara, who reached her first WTA final, won the first four games of the third set to take control of the match.

"I was very nervous in the second set, but when we started the third I just tried to focus on every point," she said. "I'm very surprised because it's on clay, and I prefer hard, but I'm very excited because it's my first final."

Results on the sixth day of the ATP and WTA Rio Open on Saturday (x denotes seeding):


Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) bt David Ferrer (ESP x2) 6-4, 6-4

Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Pablo Andujar (ESP X8) 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (12/10)

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
England 303/10 & 122/9
New Zealand 388/10
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
40% - 14764 votes
12% - 4557 votes
19% - 6916 votes
3% - 955 votes
1% - 365 votes
2% - 871 votes
5% - 1848 votes
9% - 3179 votes
4% - 1313 votes
Water sports
1% - 338 votes
American sports
1% - 459 votes
3% - 1241 votes