Rafael Nadal got off to a strong start. Rafael Nadal returns from injury, defeating Miomir Kecmanovic without delay to arrive at the ‘Third Round’ at the Madrid Open on Wednesday.
Tennis champion Nadal showed few signs of rust in his opening 6-1, 7-6(4) victory at home. After twice losing serve following a rain interruption, he cruised through the first set and rallied in the second.
The victory lasted almost two hours, but it was quick enough to let Nadal watch the Champions League Of Real Madrid match on Wednesday night. Tournament organizers said that Nadal had asked to play in the afternoon so that his match would not coincide with that of the Madrid semi-final match against Manchester City. The hosts were successful @3-1 in moving forward to the final.
Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
Nadal is a Madrid fan and gave the ceremonial kick-off at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on Saturday before the team clinched the Spanish league title against Espanyol.
Fourth-ranked Nadal highlighted by winning his 21st Grand Slam title with victory at the Australian Open. However, he had been out for nearly 45 days after a stress fracture in his ribs halted his breakthrough start to the season.
Rafael Nadal says he returns from injury at Madrid Open to win the match. ‘Winning’ is extremely important to give him confidence. And he always needed to play many matches to get back to his best form.
Nadal had been sailing before he got injured in the semi-finals in Indian Wells, where he lost the final to Taylor Fritz in his first loss of the season. Nadal missed the Miami, Monte Carlo, and Barcelona tournaments.
Third-seeded Nadal had been playing down expectations of winning his sixth Madrid Open title and first since 2017.
However, Nadal looked strong in the first set, breaking serve twice against Kecmanovic, ranked 32nd in the world. He struggled further after the match got interruption for about half an hour. Kecmanovic led @ 1-0 in the second set when they had to close the center court roof. Nadal lost two breaks, even while serving for the match at 6-5, but finally survived the tie break by converting his first match point with an ace.
Nadal could face the quarterfinals against Carlos Alcaraz and a semi-final against top-ranked Novak Djokovic or former No. 1 Andy Murray.
If Rafael Nadal wins in Madrid, he will level with Djokovic in a record 37 Masters 1000 titles.