Australian Open, 2021 tennis news, Andy Murray return, Rafael Nadal return, injury, scores, results, last
Rafael Nadal regarded his unofficial return to competition in Abu Dhabi as a “positive start” after falling to Andy Murray in a high-quality exhibition match on Friday.
In a battle of two former world number one, the Scotsman won 6-3, 7-5 in the semifinals of the Mubadala tennis world championship.
Nadal, who had only made two appearances in six months after a foot injury that excluded him from Wimbledon and the US Open, was back in action for the first time since August.
“I think I did a lot of things well and other things, of course after a long period of time I need to recover again, some things which when you compete come automatically”, Nadal said after facing Murray for the first time. time since 2016.
“Now I have to think more, or you don’t have that extra time to make the right decisions. “
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“Overall, the match was positive, I even had my chances of winning this second set. “” It’s just a positive start. I played even better than I expected a few weeks ago. The 20-time Grand Slam champion said he only started playing practice sets two days ago.
“In Mallorca for the past five months, I haven’t played any of these matches. I just did exercises and something more under control to try to make the foot normal, ”explained Nadal.
On Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Nadal trained with world No.14 Denis Shapovalov, who was impressed.
“He killed me on the field yesterday so I think he’s feeling pretty good,” said the 22-year-old Canadian.
Another intense session came against world number 5 Andrey Rublev, who said their two-and-a-half-hour hit had left him “destroyed”.
Meanwhile, Murray was satisfied with his two wins at the Abu Dhabi Expo so far, having beaten fellow Briton Daniel Evans on Thursday before getting rid of Nadal.
Murray put in a strong performance on Friday, serving well and moving comfortably with his metal hip.
“I saw him play well,” Nadal said. “I think last year he played good tennis and it looks like he’s able to play more often now with fewer limitations. I can see him moving.
Nadal plans to travel to Melbourne later this month to compete in an ATP 250 event ahead of the Australian Open, with Murray also set to compete in the first Grand Slam of the season.
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There is a vaccine warrant on all players wishing to be part of the action at Melbourne Park in January and Nadal has been asked if he is behind such a decision.
“I’m not with or without, I’m just following what the health organization says,” Nadal said.
“I don’t pretend to know more than what authorized people say.”
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