Rafa Nadal got back to winning ways with a routine victory over John Isner at the Italian Open.
A ??????? start for Rafa Nadal at the Italian Open ?
— Eurosport (@eurosport) May 11, 2022
The win see's the Spaniard through to the last-16 and erases last week's Madrid defeat from memory.
Nadal lost to teenager Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid last week but ensured that his record of never suffering back-to-back defeats on clay remains.
Despite the loss, he has been vocal of his admiration for his compatriot and urges fans not to put pressure on him.
Enjoy Carlos Alcaraz but do not put pressure on him, says @RafaelNadal
— TOI Sports (@toisports) May 12, 2022
The 21-time grand slam champion, who has recently returned from a rib injury, will now face Denis Shapovalov.
The duo competed in an epic three-hour and 27-minute clash at the same stage last year.
"I need to play better than today," Nadal said, as quoted by atptour.com
"But after a while without being on court it is another victory and I have the chance again to play against one of the best players in the world.
"I need to build things again after a tough stoppage and that’s what I am trying now.
"I just need to stay with the right attitude."