Friday, June 21, 2024

A Cautious Climb Again to the High

© Bradley Kanaris / Stringer – Getty Pictures Sport

After enjoying solely 4 matches in 2023 because of a extreme hip damage, Rafael Nadal is again on observe. A 22-time Main winner made a successful begin in Brisbane, ousting Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-1 in an hour and 29 minutes. Nadal did every part proper in his first match after 349 days, controlling the tempo and enjoying effectively on serve and return.

Nevertheless, the Spaniard needs to keep away from the euphoria, taking one match at a time and considering solely about staying wholesome. Rafa anticipated something after essentially the most prolonged break of his profession, however he competed like he by no means left!

Nadal averted errors and stored every part underneath management in his video games. Pushing onerous on the return within the second a part of the duel, the veteran grabbed three breaks and sailed over the end line. Rafa served and moved effectively, and his groundstrokes overpowered Dominic of their sixteenth duel.

Nadal produced a superb maintain at first of the match and gained a lift. Thiem grabbed the second recreation with an ace earlier than the Spaniard moved 2-1 in entrance with a volley winner.

Rafael Nadal takes one step at a time following a extreme damage.

Rafael Nadal, Brisbane 2024© Bradley Kanaris / Stringer – Getty Pictures Sport

They served effectively within the following video games, and Dominic introduced them to 4-4 after 33 minutes.

Rafa moved 5-4 up with an ace, conserving the strain on the opposite aspect. Thiem served effectively in recreation ten, and Nadal moved 6-5 up with a forehand down the road winner. The Austrian served to remain within the set for the second time and cracked underneath strain.

Thiem saved three set factors earlier than Nadal seized the fourth when his rival sprayed a forehand error, taking the opener 7-5 and gaining momentum. Sustaining a excessive degree, Rafa held at love at the beginning of the second set and handed Dominic with a robust backhand crosscourt within the subsequent one to safe a break.

Nadal solid a 3-0 benefit with a maintain at love, crusing towards the end line. Rafa held from 15-30 within the fifth recreation, conserving his preliminary shot intact and pressuring Dominic. The Austrian missed one other forehand within the sixth recreation, experiencing a break and falling 5-1 behind.

Nadal served for the victory in recreation seven and emerged on the high with a winner on the internet, celebrating his first victory in nearly a yr. “It is only one match, and it doesn’t change something. I sit up for the subsequent problem.

I had doubts, nevertheless it all got here out properly. I nonetheless know learn how to play tennis, and an important factor is to stay wholesome,” Rafael Nadal mentioned.

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