Nadal was overwhelmed by overcoming 111th ranked Ivaskha in Barcelona

Jakarta (medialnews) – Rafael Nadal had to come from behind a set to beat Belarusian Ilya Ivashka on Wednesday as the Spaniard faces an early test in his bid to win the Barcelona Open title for the 12th time.

Nadal (34), who was surprisingly knocked out by Andery Rublev last week in last week’s Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final, lost the first set against the world’s number 111 before going 3-4, 6-2 and 6-4 won.

It was Nadal’s 62nd victory at the tournament with a record of just four losses.

“He plays well. He plays at a very high level, and I don’t, especially at the start,” said Nadal, who lost only once to a player outside the 100th on clay, 17 years ago.

“Then I thought I changed my way of playing a little bit. I was more aggressive later on and the game changed a lot.

“I’m glad I fought hard today to get to the third round. That was what I needed after the defeat in Monte Carlo.”

In Thursday’s quarter-finals, Nadal meets Japanese champion Kei Nishikori, champions Barcelona in 2014 and 2015, who defeated Chilean Chritian Garin 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-1.

Nishikori has won Nadal twice in their 13 games, but has never beat the world’s number two on clay.

In the meantime, Italian Fabio Fognini was expelled from the tournament for speaking harsh words to the linesman.

The 33-year-old struggled with world number 147 Bernabe Zapata Miralles 0-6, 4-4 when he collided with officials and was sent off for unsportsmanlike behavior.

Fognini is one of the few players who have been sent off the field.

The most notorious incident involved world number one Novak Djokovic, who was disqualified from the US Open in 2020 for hitting a linesman with a ball.

Nick Kyrgios was also ejected from a 2019 tournament in Rome after throwing a chair on the field.

This is not the first time that Fognini, who is ranked 27th in the world, has been disqualified.

At the 2017 US Open, she was kicked out of the tournament and fined $ 24,000 after a wave of swearing against female referees.

In another game on Wednesday, champion Monte Carlo and second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas easily passed Spaniard Jaume Munar 6-0, 6-2.

This time, the Greek was easier on his opponent than in their previous encounter in France 2020 where he lost the first two sets before winning the next three.

Runner-up Monte Carlo Rublev, seeded third, also advanced to the next round after a 6-4 6-3 win over Italian Federico Gaio.

Also read: Djokovic said playing at Beograde was more emotional
Also Read: Tsitsipas won the inaugural ATP Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo Also Read: Rublev eliminated Nadal in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters

Translator: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
Editor: Dadan Ramdani

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