Rafael Nadal overcame a slow start to turn away countryman Fernando Verdasco in the opening round of Hamburg 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. Nadal was playing his first match since suffering a shock loss in the Wimbledon second round to Dustin Brown earlier this month.
“It’s a very important victory,” said Nadal. “For my mentality, it is important to finish the match better than how I started. To be able to make that change during the match was a very positive thing to me. I’m just happy [with] the way I came back.”
Nadal had lost two straight to Verdasco, but now leads his fellow lefty 14-2. On Thursday, Nadal, who is playing his first summer clay event since 2007, awaits the Jiri Vesely – Andreas Haider-Maurer winner which was suspended a set apiece before rain hit.
Also advancing was Tommy Robredo who took out 18-year-old German phenom Alexander Zverev in three sets 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. Roberta Bautista Agut beat another 18-year-old in Borna Coric. Andreas Seppi and Juan Monaco were among the other winners on a rainy Tuesday.
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