Rafael Nadal has beaten Gilles Muller after recovering from a distracted start yesterday where he fell behind 0-3 before the match was halted due to rain. Nadal took the first set tiebreak comfortably before powering away with the match 7-6, 6-1, 6-2.
With the sun temporarily out to play Nadal was keen to steady his focus and grip on the match despite finding himself at a 0-4 deficit. Mats Wilander spoke at the Starwood/AMEX event last night at the open saying that rain delays weren’t favourable to a traditionalist like Nadal who needs to get his teeth into a match and wear his opponent down. But the consistent break in rain during the match allowed Nadal to dismantle Muller’s game slowly but surely.
As Muller continued coming into the net Nadal started teeing off on some of his passing shots and comfortably took the second and third sets, booking himself a place in the quarterfinals.
Nadal will now face Andy Roddick for a semifinal berth and now faces the prospect of having to play four matches in four days if the final is to be held on Sunday as originally planned. While Nadal is not happy about the situation he says he will do what he has to do to defend his title.
“That’s not fair, but that’s what it is. Here in the Grand Slams, if I am in the position of the US Open or Wimbledon or Australia, Roland Garros, I will do the same. Why not? I had a lot of interesting meeting with the TV, with everybody, that for sure is better to have the final on Sunday for them. But not for the players, because our part of the draw will be in a very difficult situation”
Rafa leads his head to head with Roddick 6-3 with Roddick’s three wins coming on hard courts.