2013 French Open: Rafael Nadal has first-round scare, wins in 4

Matthew Stockman

Nadal lost the opening set and needed a tiebreaker in the second before eventually pulling away from Daniel Brands in an uexpectedly tough first-round match.

Rafael Nadal got his first scare early in the 2013 French Open, getting in a hole early against Daniel Brands, an unseeded player from Germany.

After losing the first set 6-4 and winning the second 7-6, Nadal finally got control of the match in the third, closing out Brands 6-4, 6-3.

Nadal, a seven-time French Open champion, has looked unbeatable on clay since making a comeback from a knee injury that kept him out most of last season.

While he is only the third seed, he is the overwhelming favorite at Roland Garros. He comes into the French having won six titles this season, with five of them coming on clay.

With the victory over Brands, Nadal moved his all-time record at Roland Garros to 53-1. His lone defeat came all the way back in 2009, a fourth-round loss to Robin Soderling.

Last year, Nadal dropped only 19 games in his first 12 sets at the French.

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