Rafael Nadal opens account at Italian Open on a winning note

Rafael Nadal was forced to do it the hard way in his Italian Open first-round match against Zizou Bergs, battling back from a set down to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

With the 22-time Grand Slam champion still making his tentative first steps back in tennis after missing most of 2023 to a devastating hip injury.

The second set was briefly disrupted as a spectator was taken ill in the Rome heat midway through the opening game and it appeared to disturb Bergs’ rhythm and when the match resumed, Nadal immediately broke the 24-year-old.

Meanwhile, Dan Evans lost a three-set battle against wildcard Fabio Fognini 4-6, 6-3, 2-6 in the first round.


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