RAFAEL NADAL           v     POTITO STARACE              

 6-4, 7-6    

Nadal survived a scare against Italian Potito Starace in Hamburg.

Nadal had not practiced much since he had a blister on his foot in the previous tournament in Rome. Starace came out on the offensive and was

blasting forehands into the corners and showed exquisite command of his racquet by suddenly hitting drop shots from improbably locations on the court.

Nadal spent more than two hours on the court against the 47th-ranked player in the world.

He was lucky to escape in the tiebreaker, when Starace won three straight points to gain a set point.

But Starace showed his nervousness by double faulting and eventually Nadal had match point.

Nadal had to work hard to win that point, but showed every aspect of his champion skill as he used his forehand to hit spinning shots into both corners of the

court, came in when his opponent was on the run, moved back when Starace hit an amazing shot to stay in the point, but then quickly hit 2 more crushing

lefty forehands that spun off the court before receiving a soft floater response that he could jog up and tap into the open court for the victory.
An incredible combination of power, spin, strategy, and athleticism!