Published On: Fri, Aug 9th, 2019

Rafael Nadal sees off battling Dan Evans in Rogers Cup showdown after rain delay | Tennis | Sport

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Evans will rue some big opportunities to come through against the legendary Spaniard in Montreal after leading 5-2 in the opening set before losing 7-6 (6) 6-4.

Evans broke Nadal in the first game of a weather-affected match but was unable to press home his advantage against a rusty opponent playing his first match since losing to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

“Daniel is a player that combines an aggressive game with good hands. He’s able to read the game very well, so he knows how to play tennis in terms of tactics,” Nadal said.

“It was a tough first set. Then in the second, I was able to take advantage at the beginning, but then he broke me back. It was so important, that [next] game again to have the break.”

Nadal won six of the last seven points in the tie-break and overcame a rain delay of almost two hours after taking a 2-0 lead in the second set, the top seed eventually securing a 7-6 (6) 6-4 victory to improve his record in Canada to 35-8.

The 33-year-old Spaniard is seeking a fifth Canadian Masters 1000 title, with his wins evenly split between Montreal (2005 and 2013) and Toronto (2008 and 2018).

“Always is tough, first match on hard court after such a long time. After Wimbledon, the mind always goes down a little bit because I have been playing a long clay-court season, then grass, so you didn’t relax. Then when you finish Wimbledon, it’s like your body loses a little bit of that tension, so it needs little bit of time to recover,” Nadal said.

“Today, as I said before, the main thing is win. I know with victories that other things should be coming slowly. I have been playing and practising more or less well. Now is the moment to compete. Today I competed enough well to be through. Tomorrow is another challenge.”

Cameron Norrie is also out after he lost 7-6(4), 6-4 to Alexander Zverev but there is a Brit through to the next round after Kyle Edmund ended the six-match winning streak of Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 6-4.

Marin Cilic beat Australian John Millman 6-3, 6-4. He will play the winner between second seed Dominic Thiem and Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime progressed with a 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-6(3) victory against Vasek Pospisil and he will play countryman Milos Raonic, who reached the 2013 Montreal final, in the next round.

Argentine Guido Pella produced a 6-4, 7-6(4) upset against 15th seed David Goffin and he will meet Moldovan Radu Albot, who beat Gilles Simon of France 6-4, 6-2.

Borna Coric tasted victory for the first time in almost two months, saving two consecutive match points to beat Citi Open semi-finalist Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(2).

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