Rafael Nadal, who played his first tournament in Brisbane a year after hip surgery, made it to the quarter-finals. The Majorcan lost against 55th-ranked Australian Jordan Thompson in three sets (7-5, 6-(8) 7, 3-6) at 3:26 on Friday morning, January 5.to To ATP.
After two easy wins against Austrian Dominic Thiem (7-5, 6-1) on Tuesday, then against Australian Jason Kubler (6-1, 6-2) on Thursday, Nadal cracked in his first major physical test since his return . The match was played in the extremely hot atmosphere of the 5,500-seat Pat Rafter Arena, which was full for this poster.
Before this match, Nadal had played against the modest Australian in several matches, including in Bercy in 2020 (6-1, 7-6) and in Roland-Garros in 2022 (6-2, 6-2, 6-2). He achieved two successes. . The 29-year-old Sydney player has two doubles titles but has never won a single tournament on the ATP circuit.
Although he was very tactically correct, he pushed the Bull of Manacor to his limits by replicating long exchanges that neither Dominic Thiem nor Jason Kubler were able to execute. The Australian did not hesitate to play on the Spaniard’s best asset, his forehand. Less comfortable than in his previous two matches, especially in the advanced races, Nadal showed his current limits.
Nadal, who started the match balancedly, gave up his serve in the 42nd minute.to For the first time since the start of the tournament. He immediately reacted by catching his opponent’s serve to come back four games apiece. The Majorcan player, who took advantage of several errors by Thompson in the service game (double fault and two backhand shots into the net), completed the first set (7-5) in 1 hour 17 minutes and then looked ready for another quick success.
The second set restarted on the same basis. Serving further and returning longer, Nadal kept Thompson under pressure, but the latter held out in front of his home crowd. The Australian player saved three match points and won the second set (8-6) in the tiebreak in 1 hour and 23 minutes.
Nadal, angry because he could not achieve results when he had the opportunity, physically collapsed in the last round. After the match, which lasted almost three hours, he had to call the coach from the locker room. When the Mallorcan returned to the field, he was visibly worried and wore a bad day expression. Despite his final stand in the final matches, the Spaniard eventually lost after an intense fight.
This defeat tarnished Rafael Nadal’s results at the Brisbane tournament, which were largely positive after his first two rapid victories. Although he was not yet physically fit enough to win a long match, his mobility on the field looked convincing.
The former world No.1 is also guaranteed to recover more than 200 places in the ATP rankings next Monday, where he is currently ranked 672nd in the world. He will not be seeded in Melbourne, a tournament he has won twice in 2009 and 2022. The Australian Open will take place between January 14-28.
In the next round, Jordan Thompson will face 14th-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, one of the men in current form, on Saturday.to Rinky Hijikata, a young Australian of Japanese origin, won in two sets (6-1, 6-4) in the ATP. He may face Dane Holger Rune (8th) in the final on Sunday.to in the ATP) beats Russian Roman Safiullin in Saturday’s semifinals.