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