ACASUSO said: “I’m angry, firstly because I lost and secondly because I was unable to raise my level…I didn’t serve well and never felt strong.”
Facing an opponent ranked 55 places below him, NALBANDIAN outclassed JOHANSSON in the opening set, finishing with a powerful backhand on his first set point.
“(NALBANDIAN’s) backhand is probably the best backhand on the tour,” JOHANSSON told reporters.
“I lost a little bit of focus,” NALBANDIAN said.
On a cloudy, misty morning and with the Parque Roca stadium only half full, NALBANDIAN regained his rhythm in the third set, taking his opponent’s serve early to lead 5-2. The experienced Swede broke back in the ninth game but NALBANDIAN replied with a break of his own in the next to take the third set.