3/10/13 12:42 PM | Cheryl Murray
Rafael Nadal secured his first hardcourt win in almost a year over American Ryan Harrison in his Indian Wells debut on Saturday night.
Spaniard Rafael Nadal was clearly not at his best, but the world No. 5 weathered 5 double faults and 25 unforced errors to defeat Ryan Harrison 7-6(3), 6-2.
The first set was rough for Nadal, whose backhand was almost completely absent as he tried to adjust from three tournaments on clay to the high-altitude hardcourt conditions in the California desert. Fortunately for the Spaniard's camp, Harrison didn't play nearly well enough to take advantage. The American did secure a break of the Nadal serve mid-way through the first, but lack of a gameplan and the typical Nadal resolve saw it erased.
Once the set advanced to the tiebreaker, Harrison lost his way completely. The American played a dismal breaker to drop the first set.
Nadal seemed to relax more in the second set. He still wasn't at his hard court best, but he recognized that Harrison's game was flagging and put on the pressure on the American's serve. The Spaniard secured another pair of breaks to close out the win in straight sets.
Nadal will take on Argentine Leonardo Mayer, who upset Mikhail Youzhny in the second round.
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