Nadal remains on the winning streak

Henry

Rafael Nadal is through to the quarter-finals of the Brisbane Challenge after beating Jason Kubler 6-1, 6-2.

The 37-year-old Spaniard needed just 83 minutes to seal the match.

“I enjoyed a very good run-up to the game and I was able to build on that. Two victories in a row after a long time away from the court means a lot to me,” said Nadal.

He will face Jordan Thompson in the quarter-finals.

“I have to play as many games as possible and keep training. Every day that I can still play is fantastic news for me and I am very grateful for that. I’m also happy that I can still dish out competitive play; let’s see how far i can take it.

Nadal, who celebrates his 38th birthday this year, earlier beat Dominic Thiem 7-5 and 6-1. It was his first victory since he squared off with Jack Draper in his opening match of last year’s Australian Open.

“It’s honestly an emotional and important day for me; After all, 2023 was one of the most difficult years of my tennis career. I am grateful to be able to make my comeback in front of enthusiastic fans and I am satisfied with my game,” said the winner of 22 Grand Slam titles after the Thiem battle.

A hip injury and surgery kept him on the sidelines last year and he missed his beloved French Open – for the first time in 18 years – among other things.