Tennis

Rafael Nadal surprised by how well he played in his first match since Tour restart

Rafael Nadal surprised by how well he played in his first match since Tour restart

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal was extremely satisfied with his first match on the Tour since the restart as he admitted he didn’t expect to play that we’ll against Pablo Carreno Busta. Nadal, seeded at No. 2, saw off last week’s US Open semifinalist Carreno Busta 6-1 6-1 in his opener at the Rome Masters.

Nadal saved a break point in the opening game of the match but also failed to convert a break point in the following game. Nadal then claimed back-to-back breaks and lost no service games to win five games in a row and easily win the opener.

Carreno Busta served out the opening game of the second set, before Nadal claimed three breaks in a row to earn a dominant straight-set win. “It’s good to be back on the Tour,” said Nadal, in an on-court interview, per the ATP website.

“I miss the crowds. I played a good match, maybe he was a little bit tired after all his matches in New York. It was a perfect start for me. It was solid, [and I hit] good shots on the forehand and backhand. I didn’t expect to play that well.”

Nadal excited to be back on the Tour

Nadal skipped the Cincinnati Masters and US Open. “Well, hello, everyone, first of all,” Nadal during his pre-tournament press conference in Rome. “Good, no? Excited to be back.

Circumstances have been, you know, heavy for everyone, tough ones. “But here we are. Rome always is exciting. It’s one of the most important events in the world, without a doubt. And at the same time, of course will be not the same with no crowd and, you know, being in the bubble, not being able to enjoy a little bit the city.

“But at least we have a tennis tournament here in Rome, no? And that’s positive and I happy for that.” Before his Rome opener, Nadal was cautios. “I know I have a tough first round against Pablo. He’s playing great.

So let’s see, no? Gonna be a good test. I’m excited about going back to the competition without big expectations, no? Expectation is always go on court today and try to feel myself competitive. That’s the first goal.

Go on court, feel myself competitive, and then I will see how I feel and what kind of goals I can look for,” Nadal said. Nadal plays next against the winner of the match between No. 13 seed Milos Raonic and Dusan Lajovic.

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