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.
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.
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.
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.