One hundred and nine minutes. It takes so much for Rafael Nadal to cross the 70-victory mark at the Australian Open and remain undefeated in the first round after seventeen years. The first confrontation with Marcos Giron, who has yet to win a match in the main draw of the Slam down under, was poor in twists and turns.
The very Spanish champion – who with the first ball available leaves only seven points on the street – cancels the only two break points he puts on the plate of the American tennis player, according to the protocol he dominates the confrontation-direct since the bottom line and some difficulties condense it only in the second.
together. Although in reality he breaks the balance initially and a handful of set points gets them at 5-3 as well. In short: the final 6-1 6-4 6-3 also leaves little room for interpretation: in the second round there could be Thanasi Kokkinakis, called Yannick Hanfmann to the test after the success in Adelaide.
Matteo Berrettini defeats Brandon Nakashima and stomach issues. The highest seed remaining at the top of the scoreboard – obviously given the absence of Novak Djokovic – actually needs overtime to score American talent in the Melbourne Park casualty book.
After a first serial ‘contract’, the Italy group number one drastically limits the number of unforced errors and controls extended rallies with more authority. Berrettini, who wastes an opportunity in response in the fifth game, is forced to request the intervention of the doctor and especially to cancel two set points at 4-5.
Presumably after overcoming the most complicated obstacles, the Roman dominates the tie-break and puts the lead forward. On? Not at all. Forced to escape to the bathroom after three games, Berrettini manages to catch the decisive break and despite the difficulties to file the practice with a 4-6 6-2 7-6 (3) 6-3.
Nadal on his latest comeback
Rafael Nadal considers his return to the ATP Tour in 2022 the most difficult comeback he has attempted so far in his career. Speaking at a press conference following his 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win, the 20-time Grand Slam champion opened up about the conditions surrounding his latest comeback.
“When you get a little bit older, all the comebacks are more difficult,” Nadal said. “It’s been particularly difficult because it’s not just a comeback from injury, it’s a comeback trying to be back on the tour after almost two years without playing a lot of events with the virus.
If you remember in 2020 I only played here and Acapulco, then I just played Rome, Roland Garros, Paris and London. 6 events. In 2021 I played right here and then it was on clay – Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros.
Washington, yes. Six more events,” Nadal said. He added that he also enjoyed the tennis he was playing at the moment and would do his best to keep improving. “12 events in two years is not many.
If we add that I haven’t been able to train very often too, it’s really hard. But I’m here. I’m super happy with all the work I’ve done to try to be back. I’m here enjoying tennis, and that’s it. I will keep trying hard.”