Rafael Nadal is truly back. The former world number one, who has been away from the tennis courts since her defeat against American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open on January 18, 2023, made her comeback with a comfortable victory (7-5, 6-1). On Tuesday, against Austrian Dominic Thiem in the first round of the tournament in Brisbane (Australia).
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It took the Spaniard, who had two hip surgeries in 2023, 350 days to return to the field. Some doubted his performance in his first match, but the 37-year-old champion quickly responded. Forehand lasso, “Vamos” The tics he makes after a powerful pass, while serving or returning, this intensity specific to his game… All these little details that make him a unique player have not been lost.
From the first point of the match, Bull of Manacor set the tone with his signature forehand topspin winner. Quick in his forward movements and as powerful as ever with his shots, the Spaniard lost none of his magnificence, such as a cross-volley transition at 3-2 in the first set. The player, under the protection of Carlos Moya, who never worried about his service game, won the first set 7-5.
Paris 2024 Olympic Games on the horizon
And the Spaniard gave his Austrian opponent no time to breathe. Taking advantage of Dominic Thiem’s mistakes, Rafael Nadal instantly broke his opponent at the beginning of the second set. Showing a consistent and enterprising game in the comeback, Mallorcan left no chance to easily win the second set 6-1. During the one hour and 28 minutes of play, the winner of 14 Roland-Garros showed no signs of pain. He will face Russian Aslan Karatsev (35) in the second round.to world) or Australian Jason Kubler (102to spherical).
In a twist of fate, Dominic Thiem, the winner of the 2020 US Open and a double finalist at Roland-Garros in 2018 and 2019, faced the Spaniard. Because he’s a ghost too. The 30-year-old Austrian player, who injured his ankle and returned to competitions in March 2022, is now 98 years oldto The world is struggling to find its best tennis, which brought it to third place in the world. A testament to the complexity of returning to peak level after a long recovery period.
Although he has not made any official announcements about his future, many signs point to this season being Rafa’s last. fell back to 668to This world leader, who has 14 titles at Roland-Gaross, undoubtedly has ambitions of winning an Olympic gold medal at the Paris Games. The competition will take place on Paris clay, his favorite surface.