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Madrid Open 2022: Nadal fans relieved after 'King of Clay' survives Goffin scare

Spanish ace Rafael Nadal defeated Belgium's David Goffin 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(9) in a three-set thriller in the third round of the Madrid Open 2022.

tennis Madrid Open 2022: Nadal fans relieved after 'King of Clay' survives Goffin scare snt
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Madrid, First Published May 5, 2022, 11:23 PM IST

The sigh of relief Rafael Nadal let out as he waved to the fans at the La Caja Magica in the Spanish capital on Thursday evening said it all. 

The Spanish ace, who made a comeback in the Mutua Madrid Open after recovering from a rib injury, defeated Belgium's David Goffin 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(9) in a three-set thriller to go through to the quarter-finals of his first clay-court tournament this season.

After clinching the first set comfortably, the five-time Madrid Open champion was challenged by Goffin as the Belgian came back strongly into the game, bagging the second set and taking the decider set into a tie-breaker.

However, the 21-time Grand Slam champion proved why he is called 'King of Clay' as he displayed some stellar strokeplay, including two mouth-watering drop shots, in the tie-breaker to ensure he marches ahead in front of his home crowd.

By winning that tie-break, Nadal extended his perfect Madrid tie-break record to 10-0 since the event moved to clay in 2009. The Spaniard also prevented the Belgian from becoming the fourth man to beat him from match point down on clay, with the last instance coming in Buenos Aires in 2016 against Dominic Thiem.

Nadal has now done his part to set up an all-Spanish quarter-final against Carlos Alcaraz, who will follow him on the stadium court against ninth seed Cameron Norrie.

Also read: Madrid Open 2022: Djokovic fans miffed, demand proof of illness after Murray's withdrawal

Nadal fans took to Twitter to express relief and joy over their favourite tennis star's victory in the epic encounter that lasted three hours and ten minutes. Here's a look at some of the reactions:

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