Although he was able to defeat fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver in straight sets (6-3, 7-5) Tuesday night, it was clear “Rafa” was holding back in his first match since losing to Stanislaw Wawrinka in the finals Down Under.
“I had a problem from Australia,” he admitted. “I tried to work on it at home and I’m back playing again. At the beginning one is a bit afraid coming back from a problem. I’ve worked hard to try to come back.”
Tonight, Rafael Nadal takes on another fellow countryman, as Albert Montanes awaits him in the second round of the ATP Rio Open tennis 2014. The 13-time Grand Slam champion comes in with a 2-0 record against his 72nd-ranked opponent, both matches having been played on clay.
Tonight’s match gets underway at 5 p.m. EST (4 p.m. CST/3 p.m. MST/2 p.m. PST) live from Center Court at the Jockey Club Brasileiro’s Center Court in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Tennis Channel (DirecTV Channel 217) will be handling TV broadcasting duties, while ESPN3 will be streaming the action live. To watch Rafael Nadal take on Albert Montanes simply tune to Tennis-Channel at the top of the hour, or click here to vie the free (Internet) live stream on a desktop and mobile devices.
How will the King of Clay's back hold up as he gets ready to play the 801st match of his Hall of Fame tennis career on a surface he's dominated through the years? “It’s been a long time since I’ve played on the surface (clay)," he said, "so It’s normal to return without the best feeling.”