Rafael Nadal successfully begins bid for 8th French Open title

Updated: 27 May 2013 20:12 IST

Nadal, who had lost only 14 sets in 53 previous matches at Roland Garros, fell behind when he was broken in the ninth game and was on the verge of digging a deeper hole on Monday.

Paris:

Rafael Nadal survived an early scare and successfully began his bid for an eighth French Open title by rallying past Daniel Brands of Germany, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-3.

Nadal, who had lost only 14 sets in 53 previous matches at Roland Garros, fell behind when he was broken in the ninth game and was on the verge of digging a deeper hole Monday. He trailed 3-0 in the tiebreaker, then summoned his best shot-making to salvage the set and soon was in control.

The Spaniard, who won a record seventh French Open title last year, improved to 53-1 at Roland Garros. He's 37-2 since returning in February after a seven-month layoff because of a left knee injury, reaching the finals at all eight previous tournaments he played this year and winning six.

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