There has been no happy ending for Rafael Nadal on the return to the slopes. After 133 days absent the former world number 1 has conceded a defeat against the Scotsman Andy Murray . (6-3, 7-5) at the Mubadala World Tennis Champioship exhibition tournament (Abu Dhabi).
The return of Nadal has had the presence of King Emeritus Juan Carlos I , sitting in one of the stadium boxes International Tennis Center , who has lived in United Arab Emirates since August 2020 and has wanted to go to see Nadal live, with whom he has been in a friendship relationship for years.
Happy despite losing
The defeat was within the plans of Nadal after not playing for so long. “It wasn't a bad game to start with” , has recognized the tennis player from Manacor, interviewed with Murray, another player who knows the difficulty of comebacks after injuries. The Scottish tennis player has undergone surgery on his hip twice and is currently ranked 134th in the world.
Almost two hours of match between two greats. Victory for Andy Murray, in the return of Rafa Nadal to the slopes. pic.twitter.com/pPudV1Ax1L
— #Vamos de Movistar + (@vamos) December 17, 2021
“It's great to meet again after five years and after both of us got through bad times, especially due to physical problems,” Murray said that the last time he faced Nadal went back to 2016, when he beat him at the 1,000 Masters in Madrid, the seventh of his victories in 24 matches.
Murray , who had already won a match in the tournament against his compatriot Daniel Evans (6-2, 6-3), has been more adapted on the track and with a more solid game than Nadal's and has taken advantage of two 'breaks' to achieve 4-2, in the first set, and 6-5, in the second, to take victory and win the go to the final where he will face the Russian this Saturday Andrey Rublev who has defeated the Canadian Dennis Shapovalov (7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-4) . Nadal will first play against the Canadian in the match for third and fourth place (2:00 p.m., Movistar +).
An injury eternal
Last August 6 was the last game that Nadal He played against the South African Lloyd Harris in the Washington tournament before announcing a few days later the end of his season to treat the problems in his left foot that were plaguing him. A scaphoid osteochondritis produced by lack of blood supply in a small bone in the sole of the foot. Lesion known in medical terms as Muller-Weiss syndrome , which has dragged on since 2005 and which has accompanied him throughout his career.
Nadal decided to stop for surgery and seek solutions to these inconveniences in order to start the 2022 season with guarantees. “Things are not going as they should and it is time to make decisions and seek a slightly different treatment to find a solution,” he explained.
Four months later, the millionaire Mubadala exhibition has been The tournament chosen to test his physical condition before officially returning to the circuit at the 250 Melbourne tournament, on January 3, before the Australian Open, which begins on January 17.