Playing his first official match since winning the US Open, Rafael Nadal was pushed to the very brink in his opening match against Lucas Pouille, saving two matchpoints in a 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-5 victory.
Nadal was down 6-4 in the second set breaker before winning the last four points to push the third.
“Was a very tough first round, as I say the other day,” Nadal said. “He played well, I think. Very aggressive. He’s serving well. For me was little bit difficult at the beginning. Then I started to play better. But still, I didn’t have the control of the match for almost all the time.
“He had two match points, one of them with an easy forehand more or less. But it’s like this. I remember the match against him in the US Open that I had 6-all in the tie-break, an easy forehand I missed at the net, too. That time was for him, today was for me.”
Following his eighth straight win, Nadal now moves on to meet Russian phenom Karen Khachanov.
In other matches, Alexander Zverev eased past Kyle Edmund 6-3, 7-6(3). Grigor Dimitrov went three sets to beat Damir Dzumhur. Andrey Rublev, Juan Martin del Potro, Nick Kyrgios, John Isner and Tomas Berdych also advanced.
Tomorrow, two marquee matches feature Mischa Zverev battling Kyrgios and then later del Potro duels Dimitrov.
WEDNESDAY BEIJING SCHEDULE
NATIONAL TENNIS STADIUM start 12:30 pm
ATP –  N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs M. Zverev (GER)
Not Before 2:30 pm
WTA – M. Niculescu (ROU) vs S. Peng (CHN)
WTA – [WC] M. Sharapova (RUS) vs  S. Halep (ROU)
Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP –  G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs [WC] J. del Potro (ARG)
Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – D. Kasatkina (RUS) vs  A. Radwanska (POL)
You Might Like:
Nadal Goes for 12 Years Between Titles at ATP China Open in Beijing
Nadal Saves Matchpoints, Survives Troicki in Tokyo; Djokovic Reaches Beijing Final
Murray Drops 3 Games In Beijing; Nadal Returns Thurs Plus Dimitrov-Pouille, Wozniacki-Radwanska
Dimitrov Downs Del Potro, Kyrgios Wins; Nadal, Zverev On Court Thurs. In Beijing
Nadal v Dimitrov, Zverev v Kyrgios Saturday In Beijing; Cilic The Favorite In Tokyo