Rafael Nadal survives close encounter with Goffin in Madrid

Rafael Nadal was not brilliant in his match against David Goffin but he complicated way more than he should have in the 6-3 5-7 7-6(9).

The Spaniard started the match off slowly especially from serve commiting two double faults in a row at 1-1. Goffin broke Nadal in that game taking a 2-1 lead but the Belgian gave the lead right back to Nadal after the Spaniard flashed taht superb clay game. Nadal had moments of brilliance but he was never in superb rhytm comitting a few bad errors here and there. He was still able to break Goffin once more taking the lead.

He finished off the opening set with 6-3. The second set featured more aggressive and brave play from Goffin as he understood that he needs to do that to stay competitive in this match. He also needed to serve a bit better because he won only four of 12 2nd service points in the opening set. Goffin opened well in the 2nd set winning his service game with ease.

Nadal followed it up but Goffin got himself in trouble with a couple of bad mistakes. Nadal took the early break and from there it was mostly cruise control as Goffin was not able to exert any sort of pressure when returning. Nadal missed his first match point at 5-3 and his 2nd at 5-4 with the result being a 5-5 score. He then lost his serve at 5-6 to lose the set and go into a 3rd.

Goffin was the better player for parts of the final especially after saving a couple of break points early in the final set. Nadal was able to hold his serve as well and we went into a tiebreak. Nadal jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Goffin battled back to 6-4 and ultimately finished 11-9. Both players had several match points.

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