World No. 2 ranked Rafael Nadal came back from a set down to edge past fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 3–6, 7–6, 7–5 in second round action on Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Masters.
Almagro had a golden opportunity to wrap up the match in the second set. After breaking Nadal to take a 6–5 lead, he squandered five match points and was broken. He then played a poor tiebreaker, losing 7–2, and lost his momentum completely.
Up to that point, Almagro’s game plan had been perfectly executed. His forehand was winning the battle against Nadal’s and his mix of variety and power made it seem like he’d beat his countryman for the first time in five attempts. Almagro had never even taken a set off Nadal in the previous four matches.
Nadal’s fighting spirit, superior fitness, and strength proved to be too much for Almagro in the third set. After Nadal had broken Almagro to get back on serve, leg cramps started to dramatically affect Almagro’s movement. It seemed like he had no more desire to battle on court and he’d often grimace in pain.
Throughout the drama, Nadal maintained his concentration in a match which lasted 3:14. He will next face another Spaniard in Tommy Robredo.
In other action, top seed Roger Federer lost to France's Julien Benneteau 3–6, 7–6, 6–4.
The BNP Paribas Masters is the ninth and final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Event.