Nadal taken to limit by Moya; Hewitt retires at Rogers Cup

August 9, 2005 08:30 PM
Rafael Nadal returns a shot to Carlos Moya in the first round of the Rogers Masters© Robert Laberge/Getty Images
MONTREAL (AP) -- Rafael Nadal's first match at the Rogers Cup wasn't an easy one. But the tournament's top-seeded player prefered it that way.

Nadal needed three sets to down fellow Spaniard, friend and former world No. 1 Carlos Moya.

Meanwhile, second-seeded Australian Lleyton Hewitt was forced to retire from his first-round match. Hewitt pulled out of his first-round match against French qualifier Florent Serra with a stomach ailment while trailing 4-3 in the first set.

Nadal beat Moya 6-3, 6-7 (0), 6-3 in a match that lasted 2 hours, 38 minutes on a sweltering day.

"The first match is never easy,'' said Nadal, the 19 year-old player who took the tennis world by storm by winning the French Open earlier this summer. "To play three sets with some important moments, that's important for the confidence.''

Hewitt said he considered not starting his match, but decided to give it a shot about 20 minutes before it began.

"I haven't been able to eat anything the last three or four days, which just really hit me up because I've got no energy whatsoever right at the moment,'' Hewitt said.

He retired from a match for only the second time in 504 career singles starts and the first time since July 30, 1999.

In upsets Tuesday, Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero ousted seventh-seeded Guillermo Coria of Argentina 6-3, 6-2; American Taylor Dent rallied to defeat No. 13 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, and Sweden's Robin Soderling surprised 14th-seeded Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4.

In other matches, 12th-seeded Thomas Johansson of Sweden beat Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-1, 7-5; Germany's Nicolas Kiefer ousted Nicolas Massu of Chile 6-3, 6-2; Sebastien Grosjean of France downed Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-2; Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic won 6-1, 6-3 over Jurgen Melzer of Austria; Morocco's Younes El Aynaoui defeated Spain's Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (3), 6-3; Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic prevailed 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 over Russian Igor Andreev; David Ferrer of Spain beat France's Fabrice Santoro 3-6, 6-1, 6-2; Arnaud Clement of France took Jose Acasuso of Argentina 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, and Xavier Malisse of Belgium defeated Frank Dancevic 6-2, 6-2.

Nadal's match against Moya pitted him against a longtime friend and training partner. Both players hail from the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, and Nadal and Moya took the plane to Montreal together.

Nadal, known as one of the more outwardly excitable players on tour, tried to keep his antics to a minimum against his reserved friend.

"I watched my gestures,'' said Nadal, who ran his winning streak against fellow Spaniards to 20 matches. "Usually, I would be more pumped up. I tried not to show as much. He's a very good player and a very good friend.''

Nadal got the only breaks of the match in the first set and late in the third to go ahead 5-3 before serving out the match. Moya saved 13 of 15 break points, but missed his only chance to break Nadal.

"There were some points I thought the ball wasn't coming back, but it came back fast,'' Moya said. "I had to (perform) miracles to win every game.''

Nadal called out the trainer with the score 2-2 in the third set, and the match was delayed about 10 minutes as he received treatment for a cramp in a finger in his left hand. Nadal said the injury did not hamper him in any way.