Roger Federer And Rafael Nadal Fight Through Scares To Advance In Australian Open

| by Daniel Yancelson
Rafael Nadal.Rafael Nadal.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were both down in their second-round matchups in the Australian Open on Jan. 20. Both were in pain, but still managed to come back to win their matches.

Federer, who has won the Australian Open four times, lost the first set 3-6 to Italy’s Simone Bolelli. He then required some medical attention after feeling a strange pain in his pinky finger.

"I was looking at it and it felt like a bee stung me," Federer said. "I thought: 'It can't be possible.' I've never had this pain before. I don't know if it's a blister. I don't know what that thing is. It's the weirdest thing. I don't know. I feel it on the tip of my finger. I feel like it's numb and swollen.”

It seemed as though Federer recovered just fine, as he came back to win the next three sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Nadal found himself in deeper trouble as American Tim Smyczek took two of the first three sets and needed one more set to upset the third-seeded Nadal.

After losing the third set, Nadal needed stomach pain medication and it worked like magic. He took the last two sets and ultimately won the match in five sets 6-2, 3-6, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 7-5.

"At the end of the first set, I started to feel my body was very bad, very tired," Nadal said. "I was worrying like crazy. Then I was serving for the third and almost threw up. It was a terrible feeling. I was close to not continuing because I felt that I was very dizzy. I was suffering a lot. Too much. Obviously it's a very positive thing that finally I have the chance to win, but I hope to recover myself."

A curious thing happened in the fifth set with Nadal leading 6-5. Smyczek allowed Nadal to repeat his first serve after a fan screamed during his serve, which went long.

"I don't know if the guy didn't know (Nadal) was tossing the ball or not, but it clearly bothered him," Smyczek said. "You know, I thought it was the right thing to do."

"Very tough night for me,” Nadal said. “Just first of all I want to congratulate Tim — he's a real gentleman. What he did in the last game is ... not a lot of people will do something like this at 6-5 in the fifth set."

Source: BBC Sports / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons