Rafael Nadal shows his muscles and already scares his rivals. As if the Spanish champion never had the serious injury suffered at the 2023 Australian Open, he showed another proof of his renewed physical form. Perhaps not even the Majorcan, who documented his long rehabilitation process on social media, would have imagined a return to competition of such magnitude and capable of restoring a certain level of optimism in view of the Australian Open.
Nadal also brilliantly passed the second round of the Brisbane Internatonal 2024, beating Jason Kubler 6-1, 6-2, reaching the 225th quarter-final of his career, the first since Wimbledon 2022. His next opponent will be the Australian tennis player Jordan Thompson, who benefited from Ugo Humbert's forfeit, was forced to give up the match due to a flu condition.
Rafa's words at the press conference
"The plan is to go out on the court and try to do my best. It was a positive match, without a doubt. In the first five games I showed an excellent level of tennis by doing almost everything in the right way.
I played well for most of the match and I'm happy with the win. Obviously it's important for me to win and play another match tomorrow. This is what matters most now. When you face break points it is important to survive, because you train yourself to face adversity.
Something I need to work on considering I haven't been in this position for a while."
Nadal said in the press conference before focusing on the ball problem. "It was difficult to move the ball correctly towards the end of the first set: it was very heavy.
I don't know what happens to these balls, but they die. The situation changes with new balls. Every day represents a lesson. I need to keep my concentration high on every single point. No matter the result, I have to get used to the competition again and understand the moments of the match: when I have to push or be a little more relaxed.
Winning, obviously, helps you have more confidence in yourself," added the Spaniard. Nadal then focused on the response given to him by his body at the end of his debut in Brisbane. "Today was harder than the first day since humidity point of view.
I was sweating a lot and I had to get used to these playing conditions. The good thing is that neither match lasted very long. I felt some sensations after my debut: I hadn't experienced the tension of a real match for a year and therefore my muscles were a bit tired.
But in general terms I felt good. The operations on my hip and psoas muscle are not causing me any problems, and that is very important. The foot is responding well and I can move without any limitations," he explained. The feeling, at least for myself who is writing the article, is that time has not passed for Nadal since the terrible injury that occurred at the 2023 Australian Open.
The Spaniard seems to be in very good physical shape: his steely mind, his charisma and his boundless talent are doing the rest. If these are the premises of his season, it will be fun on clay courts.