Rafael Nadal battles to Impressivek Win at Italian Open

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 37-year-old looked rusty when dropping the opening set.
Having earned an early break, Nadal was immediately broken back and went on to lose five of the last six games in the first set to the impressive Bergs - the Belgian converting a set point with an emphatic forehand smash.
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 when the match resumed, Nadal immediately breaking the 24-year-old.

Racing into a 3-0 lead, Nadal hit more winners in the opening three games of the second set than he had in the entire opener.