Nadal advances in rain-hit ATP Montreal Masters opener

World number two Rafael Nadal stayed patient through a two-hour rain delay Wednesday in defeating Britain's Daniel Evans 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 to reach the third round of the ATP Montreal Masters.
With weather forecasts dicey for the next few days, the Spanish top seed got a taste of the conditions he might face as he defends his Canadian title in an event that alternates between Montreal and Toronto.
Nadal advanced after two hours of play but because of rain it took almost four and a half hours after the first ball was struck.
"I'm happy to get through a difficult match," the four-time Canadian champion said.
"I have great memories of this tournament, back to the first time I won the title here (Montreal) in 2005."
Nadal started on the back foot as he lost his opening serve but clawed back.
Evans saved two set points in the 10th game before a first brief weather break at 6-5 for Nadal.
The seed eventually took the set in a tiebreaker and began the second with a break before the major stoppage of the afternoon.
Nadal lost his early break as Evans levelled 3-all but the Spaniard got one back a game later on the way to the win.
Nadal is seeking his third title of the season and now stands 38-6 in 2019.
He was playing for the first time since losing a Wimbledon semi-final to Roger Federer a month ago.
Former U.S. Open winner Marin Cilic, seeded 14th, advanced to the last 16, beating Australian lucky loser John Millman 6-3, 6-4.

© 2019 AFP
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