Rafael Nadal survives China Open scare against Lucas Pouille

Ruben Hill
October 3, 2017

Rafael Nadal just can't seem to keep his shoes on. During his opening round at the China Open, the Spaniard's footwear went flying while battling against Lucas Pouille.

But Nadal fought back to stave them off before taking the set and winning the third 7-5.

Nadal, making his first appearance since last month's US Open win, was 4-6 down in the second set tie-break before winning four consecutive points.

World No.1 Nadal struggled to cope with Pouille's powerful first serve, but he was more consistent in the important moments to seal the win after two hours and 31 minutes of contest, reports Efe.

Nadal is chasing a first title in Beijing since 2005 as he looks to maintain his healthy lead over Roger Federer for the coveted year-end top spot in the remaining tournaments in 2017.

Australian Nick Kyrgios wasted little time in seeing off Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 6-2 and Juan Martin Del Potro saw off fellow South American Pablo Cuevas 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

"I think the image which we have transmitted is negative".

In the second round, the 16-time Grand Slam champion is set to play against Russian Karen Khachanov, who defeated Chinese Di Wu 6-4, 6-2.

Milos Raonic made his comeback from the wrist problem that ruled him out of the US Open with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Viktor Troicki at the Japan Open.

Despite the slip, the world No. 1 pulled off a captivating match, coming back from a set down and saving two match points to defeat Pouille, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5.

American Steve Johnson claimed the biggest scalp of his career with a 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 victory over second seed Dominic Thiem but countryman Sam Querrey lost 6-4 7-6 (7/2) to Richard Gasquet.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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