Tennis: Rafael Nadal survives scare from Simone Bolelli to rack up 80th French Open win

Rafael Nadal had been two sets up but 0-3 down in the third when rain caused the tie to be suspended.
Rafael Nadal had been two sets up but 0-3 down in the third when rain caused the tie to be suspended.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Rafael Nadal racked up his 80th win at Roland Garros on Tuesday (May 29), as the 10-time French Open champion defeated Italian lucky loser Simone Bolelli 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (11-9) to reach the second round.

The world No. 1 had been two sets up but 0-3 down in the third when rain caused the tie to be suspended late on Monday.

He quickly levelled at 3-3 on Tuesday and saved four break points in the eighth game before saving four set points.

Nadal eventually claimed the match on a third match point when Bolelli dumped a forehand into the net.

The top seed, bidding for an 11th title in Paris and his 17th Grand Slam crown, next faces Argentina's Guido Pella for a place in the last 32.

"I really suffered today but it was a good test," said Nadal, who had been in danger of dropping his first set at Roland Garros since his 2015 quarter-final loss to Novak Djokovic.

 

"It was very difficult. Simone is a very good player and he had lots of chances and was very aggressive.

"But I am happy to have won here on this court, the most important of my career."