World no. 2 and four-time Canada Open champion Rafael Nadal is through to the third round, beating Daniel Evans 7-6, 6-4 in two hours and one minute after a few rain delays. Competing on the hard court for the first time since Indian Wells in March when he withdrew before Roger Federer clash, the Spaniard played well on both the first and second serve to lose 19 points in his games and get broken twice from as many chances offered to Evans.
On the other hand, the Briton delivered great performance after landing the first serve in and it was the second serve that let him down, suffering three breaks to propel Nadal through, wasting two set points in the opening set tie break.
The Spaniard had 32 winners and 16 unforced errors while Evans counted to a 28-20 ratio, winning more points in the shortest range but losing the edge with Rafa in the mid-range and longest exchanges that secured the victory for world no.
2. Rafa gave serve away in the very first game of the match, spraying a forehand error to push Evans in front before pulling it back at 2-3 after a great attack and a backhand winner. The momentum was now on Nadal’s side of the court, serving well in the rest of the set and creating two set points at 5-4.
Determined to keep the points on his racquet, Daniel went for a serve&volley, saving both set points and extending the set that could have proved to be crucial after he moved 6-4 up in the tie break. Rafa stayed calm and repelled those with two forehand winners, taking four straight points for an 8-6 after grueling 70 minutes.
As was expected, Nadal broke at the beginning of the second set with another forehand winner, confirming the break before the rain sent them off the court for two hours, with Evans saving a break point in game five and breaking back in the next game after a huge forehand error from Rafa to level the score at 3-3.
Nonetheless, the defending champion grabbed another break with some strong hitting from both wings that pushed him 4-3 up, sealing the deal in game ten with a smash winner to move into the third round.