ROTTERDAM Feb 11 World number one Rafael Nadal fought back from a set down to overcome Italy's Simone Bolelli 4-6 6-2 7-5 in the first round of the World Indoor Tournament on Wednesday.
"This is one the fastest courts I played on the last year and I was difficult to pick up my rhythm also because he played so fast," Nadal told reporters.
"But later on I improved, aimed more on my forehand and served better."
Bolelli converted the only break opportunity he created on Nadal's service game to clinch the first set but dropped games on his own serve twice in the next set.
Nadal, in his first match since beating Roger Federer in the Australian Open final, wasted 12 break points, including two match points in the 10th game of the final set but converted his third two games later.
"Everyone is talking about pressure after I won a tournament but I just feel less pressure after such a good year like 2008," added Nadal, who will face 17-year-old Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday in the second round.
"Dimitrov can be a top player in the future and he will be motivated playing against the world's number one, something I experienced in 2004 in Miami, so I expect a tough match," said Nadal.
Earlier on Wednesday, Frenchmen Gilles Simon and Jo-Winfried Tsonga reached the second round following straight sets wins over Philipp Kohlschreiber and Jesse Huta Galung.
Mikhail Youzhny, winner in Rotterdam in 2007, beat David Ferrer 6-2 3-6 6-2 while third seed Nikolay Davydenko was stunned by Julien Benneteau of France 6-3 6-2. (Editing by Peter Rutherford)