Nadal’s triumphant return


There is a smile on Rafael Nadal’s face again.

The former world number one played his first match since January and he won it!

Nadal beat Flavio Cobolli 6-2 and 6-3 in the Barcelona Open and he will face Australia’s Alex de Minaur in the next round.

The match contained all the ingredients of a classic Rafa performance: Aggressive hitting, flashes of brilliance and clenched fist celebrations.

One could see that he is still not firing on all cylinders with his hitting work and he later admitted that he is still taking things easy in this part of his game.

“I haven’t been able to hit for months and although I’m very excited to be playing again, I don’t want to overdo things. I have to listen to my body – sometimes it feels like I can hit the ball with full power, other times not,” said Nadal.

“It was a good start. I do not think that one can get rid of all one’s worries in one day; especially when it comes to physical challenges. But overall I’m very satisfied – I did what I had to do.”

He admits that the upcoming duel against De Minaur may still be a bit above his hearth.

“I don’t really know if I’ll be able to keep up with Alex’s pace, but I’m definitely going to try my best.”

But for just over an hour, Nadal was once again the clay court king. And the tennis world celebrated with Barcelona.


Tomas Etcheverry beat Nick Hardt 7-5 and 6-2

Rafael Nadal beat Flavio Cobolli 6-2 and 6-3

Brandon Nakashima beat Andrey Rublev 6-4, 7-6

Dusan Lajovic beat Diego Schwartzman 6-1 and 6-2.