Tuesday, 18th January 2022
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Nadal’s Open preparations on track with Melbourne title

Nadal decided to play the lower level tournament to get some match practice after missing much of 2021 with injury and Covid-19.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal. (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP)

Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open preparations remain on track after he beat American Maxime Cressy 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 in the final of the Melbourne Summer Set on Sunday.

Nadal decided to play the lower level tournament to get some match practice after missing much of 2021 with injury and Covid-19.

He has not been totally fluent this week and was pushed hard by the American qualifier, but Nadal had too much experience for the 24-year-old serve-volleyer.

It was Nadal’s 89th title on the ATP tour and the win ensures he has won at least one singles crown every year for the past 19 years.

Nadal said that, while he was not in perfect shape, he was happy with his form so far.

“Exactly where I would like to be is being 100 percent healthy from last year, playing until the end of the season, and with not having come back after five, six months away from competition,” he said.

“So of course I am not exactly the place that I want to be.

He said while he was sick he could not get out of bed for days, but once he began to recover he had no doubt he would come to Australia to try to win his second title at Melbourne Park.

“There have been some very challenging moments, and I have been working very hard even in the very tough moments,” Nadal said.

“I am quite satisfied the way that I approached all these very challenging months in terms of attitude, in terms of positive spirit and in terms of passion to try to be back.

“This title helps to keep going, and it’s of course just the beginning.”