ZURICH (Reuters) – Rafael Nadal was pushed to three sets again on Wednesday, dropping his serve four times before overcoming Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 4-6 6-3 in the second round of the Basel International.
The 29-year-old Spaniard, who needed a final-set tiebreak to fight past Lukas Rosol in the first round, produced a performance of defiant persistence to fend off the challenge of the 24-year-old Dimitrov.
Third seed Nadal had to battle back from losing his serve in the first game of the match and clinched the set after a string of unforced errors from his opponent.
Dimitrov went 4-0 up in the second before Nadal clawed his way back. The Bulgarian wrapped the set up and was going strong when he once again broke the former world number one’s serve in the first game of the decider.
But Nadal held his nerve to draw level and then break serve in the eighth game before clinching victory in two hours 12 minutes.
In another second-round match, eighth-seeded Belgian David Goffin beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-3.
(Reporting by Clare Lovell; Editing by Tony Jimenez)