Tennis-Battling Nadal beats Cachin to reach Madrid Open fourth round

By Thomson Reuters Apr 29, 2024 | 12:46 PM

(Reuters) – Rafael Nadal survived a second set wobble to defeat Pedro Cachin 6-1 6-7(5) 6-3 in the Madrid Open third round on Monday.

Nadal, who beat 10th seed Alex de Minaur in the second round, held his nerve as he was tested by the 91st-ranked Argentine, who won his maiden ATP title at the 2023 Swiss Open.

“Some moments good, some moments not good, but I found a way,” the 37-year-old Nadal said.

Cachin struggled against his powerful forehand in the first set as the Spaniard broke twice to take a 5-1 lead before the match was temporarily paused with a spectator feeling unwell.

When play resumed, the five-times Madrid champion broke again to win the set.

Cachin started the second on a better note, taking a 4-1 lead helped by some fine cross-court backhands and, though Nadal broke twice to make it 5-5, he claimed the set in the tiebreak.

Both players broke early in the third, which stood at 2-2, but local favourite Nadal then broke twice more to emerge as the winner with the fans giving him a standing ovation.

“Day by day… playing in front of this crowd means everything to me,” said the 22-times Grand Slam champion.

Nadal next faces Czech Jiri Lehecka, who beat Brazilian qualifier Thiago Monteiro 6-4 7-6(7) to reach the fourth round.

(Reporting by Chiranjit Ojha in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)