‘Very happy’ Nadal survives Beijing scare

first_imgIn ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson How to help the Taal evacuees View comments It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award – Sharapova primed for Halep –Maria Sharapova said her third-round clash with world number two Simona Halep on Wednesday would help her gauge progress since returning from a 15-month doping ban.The Russian former number one, on the comeback trail since April following the ban for taking the banned substance meldonium, had to dig deep as she defeated compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in three sets.Sharapova, a lowly 104 in the world and on a wildcard at the China Open, has yet to win a tournament since returning to tennis.The five-time Grand Slam champion said she had endured “a few ups and downs” in seeing off Makarova 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.But the 30-year-old is relishing her showdown with the Romanian Halep: “We know each other’s games very well, that’s no secret. “They’ve always been very challenging, tough, competitive, emotional.”Sharapova, a crowd favourite in Beijing, added: “But I love the challenge of playing against someone that’s number two in the world. “She’s a great player, she’s had a great year. “Any time you’re able to face an opponent that’s done something right and well, it’s great to see where you are and where your level is.” Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after scoring a point against Lucas Pouille of France during men’s singles match in the China Open tennis tournament at the Diamond Court in Beijing, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)World number one Rafael Nadal saved two match points to avoid a shock defeat in the first round of the China Open, seeing off Lucas Pouille in three sets on Tuesday.The Frenchman broke Nadal on the way to taking the first set 6-4, and the world number 23 came within a whisker of sealing an upset when the second set went to a tie break.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES “For me it was a 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. “I am very, very happy to be through.”Nadal narrowly avoided the fate of fellow Spaniard and top-ranked Garbine Muguruza, who exited in the first round on Monday when she retired from her match with a virus.Also into the second round in the men’s draw are Nick Kyrgios, Juan Martin del Potro, the American John Isner and third seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.ADVERTISEMENT DAY6 is for everybody Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene MOST READ The Halep meeting will be a replay of the first-round match between the pair at the US Open in August, when Sharapova made an impressive return to Grand Slam competition before exiting in the fourth round.Sharapova boasts a 7-0 record against Halep, who made it into the next round after Magdalena Rybarikova retired ill in the second set.Karolina Pliskova, the fourth seed from the Czech Republic, booked her spot in round three with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Andrea Petkovic of Germany. Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up But Nadal, 31, with the Beijing crowd backing him on the outdoor hard court, held his nerve when twice staring defeat in the face and fought back to win the tie break 8-6.The pair headed into a final-set shootout and again Pouille refused to buckle, Nadal getting the critical break of serve in the 11th game before serving for the set and match 7-5.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogNadal, a 16-time Grand Slam champion, tumbled and lost a shoe at one point, and said afterwards he was fortunate to be in the second round.“He played well, I think, very aggressive. He’s serving well,” said Nadal, who lost to Pouille the last time they met, at last year’s US Open. Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Meralco zaps lackluster Star, nears PBA semis sweeplast_img