He was expected and he did not disappoint. In the Melbourne ATP 250 final, Rafael Nadal took his place in the No. 1 ranking on Sunday against Maxim Gracie, who qualified and became the 112th player in the world. With two sets (7-6, 6-3) and a 1h47 win over the American server-volleyball player, Mallorgan at the same time won the 89th title of his mammoth career, the first time since the Rome Eight Masters 1000. Months ago. After five months without playing, such a one-week recovery is encouraging regardless of his opponents ’lineage.
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Admittedly, Nadal, now ranked 6th in the world, was widely favored on paper against a player who played his first final in the round, and had won only 7 small matches at most before this match. But after five months without playing, the Spaniard’s chain ability was explored following his victory in the semifinals in straight sets, but hung out against Emil Russo on Saturday. From this point of view, he promised that even if everything was not right in tennis.
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Unable to change one of the 5 break chances he got in the first game, after a tense tie-break, Mallorkan struggled to find his rhythm from below, winning by 8 points to 6. This is the style of play of his opponent who won by at least 29 points on the net in the opening set. But he did not lose his peace of mind and tranquility. The opponent faced a set point against him 5-6 in the decisive game, and after making a double mistake, he was able to raise the tone of ordering three points in a row.
Rafael Nadal in Melbourne in 2022
Thanks: Getty Images
And Nadal, surprised at the start of the second round on his determination, immediately broke through (7-6, 2-2), screaming with his passion to win. Undoubtedly, he has not lost his inner fire and is certainly better and better at restarting to take advantage. If he wants to make further progress in the sport, especially in service, as some of his Lasso Forehands have shown, feelings will return very quickly.
A week before the Australian Open, a perfect Nadal will have the opportunity to train in the next few days. If this victory does not make him the first Grand Slam favorite of the year, his opponents will have to watch him like milk in the fire.
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