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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeOther SportsRafael Nadal remains composed despite his impressive injury comeback

Rafael Nadal remains composed despite his impressive injury comeback


Rafael Nadal’s ranking has dropped to 644 as a result of missing the entire 2023 season due to injury sustained during the Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal, who triumphantly returned from injury on Tuesday by defeating Flavio Cobolli of Italy 6-2, 6-3, said he had low hopes for the Barcelona Open. After going 62 years without participating in a competitive match, the 22-time Grand Slam champion defeated the 62nd-ranked Cobolli in 85 minutes to advance to the next round. Following the Australian Open, the former world number one missed the entirety of the 2023 season, which resulted in a drop in ranking to 644. When a hip issue flared up in Brisbane at the beginning of the year, his comeback took a knock.

It was the 12-time champion from Barcelona Rafael Nadal’s first clay court match since winning the French Open nearly two years prior, but the Spaniard was careful not to get ahead of himself.

The winner of the Monte Carlo Masters last week, Stefanos Tsitsipas, stated earlier in the week that he wouldn’t be shocked to see Rafael Nadal advance to the championship match on a court bearing his name.

Nadal, who turns 38 in June, said, “To say that I am favourite today, I think is stupidity, Tsitsipas knows that it’s not the case.”

“I recognize his words as a sign of respect for my performance in this competition. Everyone is aware that I am not the tournament favorite.”

Playing for a spot in the round of 16, Rafael Nadal faces fourth seed Alex de Minaur on Wednesday. “I didn’t have the slightest idea if I was favourite today, I know tomorrow I will not be,” Nadal continued.

“But it doesn’t matter, I will go out and play and it will be an experience against a top level player.”

Nadal recovered his rhythm after Cobolli committed a double fault and fell behind 30-0. Cobolli was scared by the ardent support for the Spaniard on the court that bears his name.

In the fourth game, Nadal converted his third break point to take a 3-1 lead, and Cobolli held at 4-2 after surviving four more.

After breaking once more to win the set in forty-three minutes, the Spaniard clenched his fist in triumph.

With two more careless mistakes, Cobolli gave Nadal a 2-0 lead in the second set, but in the third game, he eventually applied some pressure to break back.

But Nadal prevailed after Cobolli committed his third double fault, breaking again for a 3-1 lead.

“It was a good start — when you return you can’t get rid of the doubts in one day, above all, on a physical level,” Nadal said on TVE.

It was a solid first round, within reasonable bounds. He committed errors, and I believe I fulfilled my role in the game.”

After winning 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) in the opening round, Brandon Nakashima dispatched a furious Andrey Rublev.

Eighth in the world, the American, ranked 87th, defeated the player who committed five double faults and only managed one break point during the match.

In the ninth game, Nakashima broke the Russian for a 5-4 lead and held off a break point to serve out the opening set.

Despite saving four break points in the second set, Rublev—the second seed in the tournament—lost in the tie-break after hitting a backhand long.

The Russian slammed his racket against the ground several times and stormed off.

Carlos Alcaraz, the 2022 and 2023 Barcelona champion, withdrew on Sunday due to a forearm ailment.



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