Nadal edges into fourth round
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:23
The world number one was broken early in both sets by his 24-year-old Portuguese opponent, who is ranked 73 places below him.
However, without ever coming close to his best form, Nadal eventually seized control of the match and broke three times in succession to close out the match.
Nadal appeared to be cruising to the opening set after an early break before some spirited play from Gil brought him back on level terms after six games.
A ferocious shot straight at the bewildered Spaniard as he stood at the net was typical of Gil’s aggressive attitude in the early exchanges.
With no further breaks, Nadal was forced to serve to stay alive in the opener at 5-4, and he did so with relative ease before clinching a crucial break which allowed him to take the set 7-5.
Any notion that Gil would capitulate proved wide of the mark, however, as he accepted his third break point in the second game of second set to put Nadal on the back foot once again. In typically determined fashion Nadal broke back immediately, though, and then did so twice more to reel off six straight games and take the second set 6-3.
Elsewhere in the early matches in the men’s draw, sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro proved far too strong for Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic.
The world number 46 had no answer to his opponent from Argentina and was broken once in the first set and three times in the second as Del Potro triumphed 6-4 6-1.
There was better news for another native of Belgrade, however, as Victor Troicki defeated Germany’s Bjorn Phau 6-4 6-3.