Rafa Nadal is back . The Balearic tennis player stepped up his preparations for the Australian Open, to be held this month, with a 6-2 7-5 victory over Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis in the second round of the Melbourne Summer Set ATP 250 tournament.
Nadal was playing his first individual game since August 5, which is why he had been in dry dock for five months. The 20-time Grand Slam champion showed no signs of rust from the start at Rod Laver Arena.
The world number six, who prematurely ended his 2021 season due to a left foot injury, moved with ease on the court as he claimed the first set in 31 minutes.
In the second it cost him something more. Nadal went ahead 5-2, but Berankis did not easily throw in the towel and managed to equalize the partial 5-5, before the Spaniard changed gears again to secure his victory.
“I am very happy to be playing competitively again and it is hard to imagine a better place than Australia to come back,” Nadal said after the match. It's just my first game in a while and I've been through tough times in the last year and a half. But in general terms I am happy and it is important to start with a victory », he concluded.
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