Rafael Nadal Dominates Barcelona Return with Straight-Sets Win over Cobolli!

Rafael Nadal, 37, easily defeated the Italian Flavio Cobolli, 62nd player in the world, in two sets (6-2, 6-3) on Tuesday in Barcelona, showing his legs for his first match in over of three months.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion from Spain may now run a little slower, strike a little less forcefully, and stop going for particular balls that he was the only player in the world to be able to bring back onto the court.

Even though he has missed 102 days of competition since suffering a new hip injury in Brisbane in early January, he still possesses the tiger’s eye and all the tools necessary to defeat a rival of this magnitude.

“It gets harder every time” to return to the game after an injury, Rafael Nadal said following his triumph. “The situation renders things a lot more difficult, especially as one ages, he claimed.

After missing practically the entire 2023 season because of psoas surgery, the Spaniard was playing in only his eighth match in the previous fourteen months. Gradually, he gained momentum, winning the opening set in forty-three minutes (6-2).

Sufficient for the fans of the Catalan central court, which is named after him, to witness their hero reassure us that he had not lost any of his dexterity with the ball, as demonstrated by his excellent cushioning, or his strength on the backhand, as demonstrated by his full-line cannon shot at 5-2.

Difficult times

In the second round, the king of clay who had won twelve titles in Barcelona while en route to Roland-Garros emerged, providing his audience with fresh excitement and a hint of nostalgia through a long-line forehand smash.

Even though he somewhat lessened his effort, the Majorcan soon recovered the upper hand after falling behind 1-1, particularly while serving with second balls at a speed of less than 150 km/h.

Despite this, he gave himself confidence during the exchanges, most notably by ending the game’s finest rally which lasted for over twenty shots with a strong smash that gave him a 5-2 lead.

Then, in an absolutely flawless final service game, he won the second set (6-3) and recorded his first win since his January round-of-16 match in Brisbane, which was supposed to be a warm-up for his highly anticipated but ultimately unsuccessful return at the Australian Open.

“I’m going through some tough times, but at the same time, when I can be on the circuit for a few days, training with the guys and being able to play a little bit competitively, it means a lot to me,” he said. he declared.

Additionally, this is his first victory on clay, which is his preferred outside, since he lost to Casper Ruud in June 2022 for his 14th title at Roland-Garros in agony.

Following a flawless first test, “Rafa” will have a chance to assess his true condition against world No. 11 Alex De Minaur in the second round, which is likely to be followed by a final Roland-Garros match at the end of May.

Before the competition began, Rafael Nadal gave his assurance, saying, “I act as if it was my last year and I want to enjoy every moment.” He did not, however, specify a date for his retirement, saying that it will happen when he feels “that it’s not anymore value it” to test every aspect of his body.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *