Rafael Nadal survives more than 3 hours in marathon Pedro Cachin win at Madrid Open

Monday, 29 April 2024 at 19:17
We will see Rafael Nadal play on the Madrid Open courts for at least one more day. The Spaniard has once again left us speechless for the umpteenth time today, beating Argentine Pedro Cachin in a three-set battle 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3. He thus qualifies for the round of 16 where he will have to face Jiri Lehecka.
The first set was a real breeze as Nadal gave no option to Cachin with his serve while the Argentine handed it on a plate to Nadal.
It is the only game that Cachín won in the first set, which Rafa took 6-1 after dominating his opponent in all facets of the game. He showed no mercy at any time and took control of the match from the very first moment, when he broke the world number 91's serve to start the match.
The second set started with a break of Cachin on Rafa Nadal's serve. This gave a big boost of confidence to the Argentine, who kept the advantage until 4-1. At that point he was serving to stay one game away from winning the set, but Rafa pulled out all his pride and his champion's spirit and recovered one of the two breaks he had against him.
He won the next game with his serve and continued to put pressure on Cachin, who this time came out well and was able to get 5-3. Nadal forced him to serve to take the second set, and the Argentine trembled at the least opportune moment. He was able to save several break points but had two set points that he did not take advantage of and ended up conceding his advantage with a double fault.
But the Argentine was not going to give up so easily, and again broke Rafa's serve to give himself a new opportunity to close the set with his serve. And once again, like two games before, the Balearic tennis player showed that to give him up for dead on a tennis court you have to kill him a thousand times.
Thus they reached the tie-break, where Cachin started much better, winning the first three points of the deciding game. He got to a 4-1 lead with two mini-breaks, but Nadal recovered them immediately winning the next three points. However, the Argentinian again produced a new set ball. And this time, with a spectacular passing shot, overcame Rafa Nadal and managed to take the set.
Facing the third set, Nadal knew he had to make it last as little as possible and so it began, with break up and placing 2-0 at the start. But Cachin was also aware and did not want to let the Spaniard breathe, responding immediately to take a 2-2 lead. At the same time, Nadal followed the tug of war and replied again, breaking the Argentine's serve again, and escaping 4-2 on the scoreboard.
This time, Rafa held his serve and did not want to make the suspense last any longer. He ended up winning 6-3, getting the last point at the rest, in the first opportunity he had to close the match.
In the round of 16 he will face Jiri Lehecka, who although clay is not his favorite surface, the Czech comes from eliminating Hamad Medjedovic, champion of the last ATP Next Gen Finals, and Thiago Monteiro, Stefanos Tsitsipas' executioner in the previous round, one of the most in-form players along with Casper Ruud of this first half of the season on clay.

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