Tennis: Nadal edges first set in Australian Open final

Reuters, Sunday 29 Jan 2012

Spaniard breaks twice to seal first set

Nadal and Djokovic
Nadal and Djokovic

Rafa Nadal fought off intense pressure on his own serve from Novak Djokovic to break the world number one twice in an error-ridden first set before he won it 7-5 after 80 minutes to take the early lead in the Australian Open final on Sunday.

Djokovic suffered a slight scare in the fourth game when he went over on his right ankle after attempting a slide, and went down to his haunches before he began to flex and roll it in circles at the end of the game.

Both players failed to really settle or stamp their authority on the match, though Djokovic had more opportunities to break the Spaniard’s serve.

After breaking in the fifth game Nadal had to fight off Djokovic twice before the Serb broke in the eighth game, though Nadal seized back the advantage in the 11th game and sealed the opener on his third set point when a backhand return floated long.

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