Tennis: “The toughest year of my career”, Rafael Nadal relieved after defeating Dominic Thiem in first round of Brisbane tournament

After almost a year’s break, Spain’s Rafael Nadal defeated Austria’s Dominic Thiem (7-5; 6-1) when he entered the Brisbane tournament. A convincing success for the Majorcan, who qualified for the second round.

Clean and burr free! Rafael Nadal did not miss the return. Almost a year after his last official singles match, the man with 22 Grand Slam titles achieved a convincing victory against Austrian Dominic Thiem, ranked 98th in the world.

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As a result, the Majorcan was mentally shattered while playing the first set played by the former world number 3 (7-5), unable to recover from this game that was presented to Rafael Nadal at 6-5, while the match was still very even. Rafael Nadal, so convincing in his return to competition, relied on an excellent serve (67% first, 90% successful behind) to lay the foundations of his attacking game and play in his favorite channel with his forehand when his opponent faltered.

Making a speech after celebrating his victory, Rafael Nadal thanked the warm atmosphere that followed him since his arrival on Australian soil: “Thank you for your support since my arrival. It was a very moving and important event for me,” he said.

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I’m coming off the hardest year of my career. We had to fight hard to play in front of this incredible audience. The level I can play is very positive; I’m proud of myself, my entire team, and everything we were able to do to get there. Playing against him is always a test. It was very tight in the beginning. We both served well and then I managed to get the break for 6-5, which made the difference. I know Dominic very well, I’ve had big problems with him in the past. “I wish him the best this season,” he said.

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The Spaniard will face the winner of the match where Russian Aslan Karatsev (seeded No. 8) will face Australian Jason Kubler. Whatever the outcome, Nadal will challenge a player he has not faced before.

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