Rafael Nadal Drops First Set, But Wins 2016 Opener In Doha; Defending Champ David Ferrer Out
by Staff | January 5th, 2016, 4:59 pm

Rafael Nadal had to battle but he prevailed in his opening match of the 2016 season, deny countryman Pabo Carreno Busta 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-1 in the first round at Doha earlier today.

“I had chances in the beginning of the match, I couldn’t convert,” said Nadal. “I think I changed a little bit at the beginning of the second… I’m very happy the way that I managed to change the dynamic of the match, and I think I finished the match playing well.”

Next for Nadal who won the title in 2014 is Robin Haase on Wednesday.

While Nadal advanced, second-ranked Spaniard and defending champion David Ferrer fell to Ilya Marchenko 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-2.

“He was better than me all the match,” said Ferrer. “From the first set, he deserved win the match. I didn’t obviously play my game. I didn’t serve well. Second and third set, he was more aggressive than me.”

Tomas Berdych also advanced. He’ll face Damir Dzhumer tomorrow.

Also on Wednesday, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is in action against Fernando Verdasco.

“I feel great at the moment,” Djokovic said after beating Dustin Brown Monday. “I had a good performance the first round here in Doha where it’s a relatively new tournament for me. It’s the second time I’m playing it in my life. It’s a beautiful center. I think people — and it’s a long tradition and history of this tournament. I mean, I think ’92 was the first time it was being held, and I believe my coach won it. So we are hoping that I can repeat that success this year.

CENTRE COURT start 3:30 pm
[7] J. Chardy (FRA) vs P. Mathieu (FRA)
Not Before 5:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs F. Verdasco (ESP)
R. Haase (NED) vs [2] R. Nadal (ESP)
[3] T. Berdych (CZE) vs D. Dzumhur (BIH)

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11 Comments for Rafael Nadal Drops First Set, But Wins 2016 Opener In Doha; Defending Champ David Ferrer Out

AndyMira Says:

It did not surprise me at all that rafa won in three sets..it became a routine nowadays..i just wonder how is he gonna fare all season without burn out or get injured if he keeps winning like this..but then the season is still early..maybe he’ll improve even more in a couple of months..

Humble Rafa Says:

2016 is going to be tough for me, no. I did not play good. Uncle Toni is mad. I won’t win any grandslams in 2015.

James Says:

Its too early to say anything about 2016. All that we know is that since 2008, every year has been a bit of a surprise.

In 2008, Nadal finally broke Fed’s dominance. It was unexpected, especially at Wimbledon and the way Fed lost at the French.

In 2009, Fed regained dominance, when some were already writing him off.

in 2010, Fed completely Withered away, Nadal had a banner year, Djokovic was still struggling.

In 2011, Djokovic surprisingly came into his own beastly form, beating Nadal 7 finals in a row including 3 on clay.

2012 was so mixed, that was a surprise. 4 different slam winners. All the big 4 vying for supremacy. None really stood out.

2013 – Fed had a really miserable year, not expected, Nadal remarkably came back for a banner year, unexpected. Djoke lost so many close finals.

2014 – USO was such a surprise. Fed’s resurgence was a surprise. Nadal clearly declined. Djoke came up, finally.

2015 – surprise banner year from Djokovic.

Nobody predicted any of these at the start of the year. Its going to be the same this year, especially with Fed hitting 35, Nadal hitting 30, and both Djoke and Murray hitting twilight zone of 29. Maybe one of them will dominate, maybe someone new will break through. All I know is I can only make that prediction by about October or so.

Daniel Says:


Not entirely true, many were saying this time last year that 2015 couod be a great year for Djoko, everything was in ppace for him and he already was having a great end of 2014. Plus Nadal was re-returning from some time off.
Last year I predicted Novak would win 3 Slams just as I thought this year he wins minimum 2 or 3 again.

Ben Pronin Says:

What? Most of the things you listed weren’t a surprise at all. McEnroe pegged Rafa to win 08 Wimbledon after losing a close one in 07. I don’t see how each of the Big 4 winning a slam in one year can be called a surprise since they were being called the Big 4 for that very reason.

Chrisford1 Says:

James – 2008’s Wimbledon was not that big a surprise, save to Fed-worshiping writers and some fans that ignored Rafa almost took him at the 2007 Wimbledon tournament, had clobbered Federer at the French Open, and won Queens leading up to the 2008 Wimbledon. (He had also lost the AO streak he had earlier,,,beaten soundly by Novak in the semis.)

Daniel Says:

CF1, actually it was the 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals that Djoko ended in AO 2008. Most fitting as he now has the chance to be third and chase Federer on Slam finals (Fed has 10 and than 8, Djoko currently at 4).

nits Says:

Nadal wins easily today

SG1 Says:

I guess everyone who put Ferrer in their top 10 for 2016 now needs to panic?

Thangs Says:

ya, only 2011/2015 are big years with surprises. Others are nothing..

Gypsy Gal Says:

And that too is one hot picture i have to say ;)….

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