Nadal reaches first final of year in Argentine Open

Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:41pm EST
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By Rex Gowar

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Rafael Nadal, pushed to the limit in a high octane first set, made up for his semi-final defeat at the Rio Open a week ago by reaching the Argentine Open final with a 7-6(7) 6-2 victory over Carlos Berlocq on Saturday.

The world number four will meet a fourth Argentine in succession in the tournament, 2007 champion Juan Monaco, in Sunday’s showpiece match looking for a 65th career title and record-equalling 46th on clay.

The first set, with 74th-ranked Berlocq playing every bit as well as his multi-titled opponent, went with serve before the Argentine ran up a 6-1 lead in the tiebreak.

However, Nadal fought back, saving five consecutive set points and then one more to take it 9-7 on his first set point.

“Evidently, when you recover five points (in a row) as well as playing well you have to have some luck, you can’t do it without luck. Carlos was playing bravely and serving well,” Nadal told reporters.

“In the end I managed to be more dynamic and aggressive and place my shots well,” said top seed Nadal, who has been working on a comeback to his best form after right wrist problems during the second half of last year.

NADAL WOBBLES   Continued...

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts after defeating Argentina's Carlos Berlocq in their semi-final tennis match at the ATP Argentina Open in Buenos Aires February 28, 2015.   REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci