Nadal Overcomes Early Struggles To Beat World No. 108 Bergs In Rome Opener

Nadal Overcomes Early Struggles To Beat World No. 108 Bergs In Rome Opener

by Zachary Wimer

Rafael Nadal wanted to test himself further at the 2024 Italian Open, and he certainly got tested in his first match, but he passed the test.

Zizou Bergs is a tricky player who can play some really solid tennis. He's not a world-class player at the moment, but he was certainly good enough in the first round in Rome to give Nadal some problems.

The Spaniard arrived in Rome hopeful of testing himself further as he keeps working towards his best level. Last week in Madrid was a pretty solid week for him, as he earned a couple of wins.

Now, he earned another one, and it was a tough one. Bergs played slightly better than the 10-time Italian Open champion in the opening set, at least after he found his rhythm.

The Spaniard was up 3-1 early, but then Bergs pulled it back. He didn't only pull it back. He actually won the opening set 6-4, and it was mostly thanks to his aggressive play.

He had twice as many winners as Nadal in the opening set, and that proved key, but also the fact that the 37-year-old missed the court just too much, giving his opponent some free points.

Nadal played better in the second set. He took an early lead and kept it for the rest of the set. He upped the ante in his play, and it worked out well for him, winning the set 6-3, though Bergs still had more winners.

After pulling through in that second set, Nadal had his opponent where he wanted him. Momentum was on his side, and it worked out for him. He broke early once more, and that would prove enough to win the match.

The final score was 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 for the Spaniard, who looked pretty good, despite losing the first set. There were certainly some shaky moments, but that's why he's playing this week, to get all of that out of the way before Paris. Up next, he will take on the seventh-seeded Hubert Hurkacz.


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