As tennis legend Rafael Nadal gracefully approaches the twilight of his illustrious career, his cousin, Joan Nadal Vives, is basking in the glow of his inaugural professional success. The son of Rafa's uncle Toni notched his first professional victory at the M15 Manacor Futures, earning his presence on the ATP ranking list.
Addressing the inevitable comparison to his more renowned cousin Rafa, it's clear that Joan is forging his path in the tennis world. While Rafa had already accumulated Major and Masters 1000 titles by the age of 19, establishing himself as Roger Federer's primary rival, Joan is carving out his narrative and celebrating the beginning of what promises to be a decent career.
Nadal Vives embarked on his professional journey four years ago, encountering the tough reality of the sport as he fell short in qualifying for the main draw at the Futures event in Manacor at the tender age of 15.
Enduring a challenging start, Nadal Vives faced setbacks in his initial eight main-draw encounters at Futures events before turning the tide this week. Entering the M15 Manacor Futures with a wild card, Joan exhibited his growth and determination, securing a convincing victory over Andrew Fenty with a scoreline of 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and 33 minutes, notching his first ATP point.
The Spaniard outplayed the American behind the first and second serve, defending all six break points in one loose service game and seizing four out of seven return chances.
Toni Nadal's son scored his first main draw win at Futures at home in Manacor.
Nadal Vives produced a fine hold in the encounter's second game and grabbed a break from 40-15 down in the next one to gain a boost.
Joan closed the fourth game at 15, cementing the break and settling into a fine rhythm. The home player produced another fine hold in game six, leading 4-2 and keeping the pressure on the other side. Fenty brought the seventh game home after four deuces, remaining within one break deficit.
Nadal Vives held with ease in game eight for 5-3 and pushed strong on the return in the next one, breaking his rival at love to wrap up the opener in 48 minutes. Joan had to dig deep in the second set's first game.
He denied six break points and held, keeping his serve intact.
The Spaniard broke in the second game, moving a set and a break in front. Nadal Vives held after deuce in game three for 3-0 and forged a 4-1 gap with a hold at 15 two games later. The home player sealed the deal in style, clinching a break at 15 in game six and moving over the top with a hold at love at 5-1, notching his first professional victory at 19.
Joan could not repeat that performance in the second round versus Georgii Kravchenko, falling 6-1, 6-1 in 69 minutes.