Nadal warms up for French Open with victory on clay in Madrid

Julian Harris
Follow Julian
WORLD No1 Rafael Nadal prepared for his defence of the French Open at the end of the month by winning yesterday’s Madrid Open.

The victory came as a result of the match being cut short, however, after opponent Kei Nishikori was forced to retire with a back injury during the fourth set.

The final scorecard read 2-6, 6-4, 3-0, yet Nadal had been a set and a break down, losing 4-3 in the second set, when Japan’s Nishikori was struck by injury.

After a long rally, the 24-year-old pulled up clutching his back and Nadal went on to win the game and the set 6-4 to force a decider.

“It was my hip and actually everywhere after the second set, my legs were hurting too much,” said Nishikori, who had come through a gruelling three-set semi-final against David Ferrer.

“It was very sad, especially as I was winning, playing almost the best tennis in my life. But there is some good side too. There is a lot of confidence I get from this tournament,” Nishikori added.