MONTREAL (AP) -- Rafael Nadal’s knees held up fine. Instead, it was his opponent, David Ferrer, who limped off the court.
Nadal won his first match since May when Ferrer retired with a left knee injury in the first set of their match Wednesday night at the Rogers Cup. Nadal led 4-3 when Ferrer informed the chair umpire he could not continue.
Nadal said he felt fine, even if he isn’t in top form, but the first real test will come in the third round on Thursday when he faces Philipp Petzschner of Germany, who upset 15th-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).
“It’s always a pleasure to come back,” said Nadal, who has not played since losing to Robin Soderling in the fourth round of the French Open on May 31. “It’s only been (two) months and a half, it’s not three years outside of tennis.
“But when you have some time off competition, when you come back, it’s a little more exciting.”
Ferrer looked to be limping even before the match and, after some long points with a lot of running, looked uncomfortable during changeovers. He said the injury first flared up at Wimbledon in late June, but he doesn’t feel it is serious and believes he’ll be ready to play next week in Cincinnati.
Earlier, Andy Roddick, playing in front of newly appreciative fans, beat Igor Andreev 6-1, 7-6 (3) to reach the third round as well.
The fifth-seeded American said he was “humbled” by the reaction of fans both at the All England Club and back home in North America to his thrilling five-set loss to Roger Federer at Wimbledon.
“During my career I’ve been portrayed as every type of person—good, bad, ugly, rude, nice—and this is the first time it’s been presented in the light of a hardworking, everyday Joe type of tennis player trying to make good,” Roddick said. “All the while the meat and potatoes of who I am have probably stayed the same.
“Maybe people have realized that it’s not easy and it does take work.”
With the Wimbledon loss and a three-set defeat in the final in his return to the court last week in Washington, Roddick is trying to reach the championship of a third straight tournament at the Rogers Cup. He next faces Fernando Verdasco, who advanced to the round of 16 earlier with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Leonardo Mayer.
Also, former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 7-6 (6) upset of 13th-seeded Gael Monfils.
Ferrero, who ousted former No. 1 player Lleyton Hewitt in the first round on Tuesday, will face third-seeded Andy Murray next.
The 29-year-old Spaniard, ranked No. 1 in 2003 after he won the French Open, had to go through two qualifying matches last weekend just to get into the tournament because the direct entries were set six weeks ago when he was ranked 70th. Ferrero is 20-7 since May and has risen to No. 29.
Ferrero fought off two set points in the tiebreaker to Monfils, who played his first tournament since withdrawing from the Queen’s Club event in England on June 11 due to a left wrist injury.
Monfils wasn’t the only seeded player eliminated on Wednesday as No. 15 Tommy Robredo was beaten 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) by Philipp Petzschner.
Juan Martin Del Potro, the No. 6 seed who was coming off a victory over Andy Roddick on Sunday in the final at Washington, advanced with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Jan Hernych.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Rainer Schuettler 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round.
The seventh-seeded Tsonga broke for a 4-3 lead in the final set to secure the win. His next opponent will be the winner of a match between fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon and Alejandro Falla of Colombia set for later Wednesday.