Nadal survives long match with Kohlschreiber

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:59 PM ET

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal took on a German name that’s hard to spell and harder to beat at the Rogers Cup on Friday afternoon.

Philipp Kohlschreiber thumped the lacklustre Spaniard in the first set and gave him a scare at other times in the entertaining two-hour match before Nadal emerged 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. But it was just the tune-up Nadal said he needed after Wimbledon to get fully adjusted to hard court.

Nadal will meet Scotsman Andy Murray in Saturday’s semifinal.

“We’ll see what happens ... It’s hard to win big tournaments like Toronto unless you’re being aggressive,” Nadal said. “It was good that I finished the match playing well.”

That wasn’t the case earlier in the day. Kohlschreiber is a 26-year-old who came here ranked 37th. He was 1-7 against Top 10 players this year and 0-6 against Nadal head-to-head, but on three occasions has stretched the latter to a third set, including this year’s Australian Open.

“If I play every match like this, I will improve my ranking,” a satisfied Kohlschreiber said.

Hot streak

Nadal had not lost a set since the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, but is now 34-1 in matches since mid-April. After bouncing back strong in the second set, Nadal almost hit another bump in an elongated third game of the set, alternating unforced errors between Kohlschreiber’s suddenly wonky serve and his own overzealous attempts to out-smash his opponent.

But the crowd favourite settled down and went back to snapping shots down the baseline. The fourth-ranked Murray defeated unseeded David Nalbanian of Argentina 6-2, 6-2.


Videos

Photos