February 25, 2024

Nadal Comeback after Long Layoff Reaches Quarterfinals, Sabalenka, Rybakina Also climb up.

Rafael Nadal is back in the quarterfinals of a tennis tournament after a year-long absence due to injury. The 22-time Grand Slam champion defeated Jason Kubler 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of the Brisbane International on Thursday.

Nadal had not played a competitive match since last January’s Australian Open, where he was forced to retire from his quarterfinal match against Denis Shapovalov due to a foot injury. He underwent surgery on his left foot in February and has been slowly working his way back to fitness ever since.

“It’s been a tough year,” Nadal said after his win. “I’ve been through a lot of pain and a lot of uncertainty. But I’m here now, and I’m feeling good. I’m just taking things one day at a time and trying to enjoy myself.”

Nadal’s victory over Kubler was his first since his return to the court. He looked sharp in the opening set, breaking Kubler’s serve twice and winning the set 6-1. Kubler put up more of a fight in the second set, but Nadal was able to break his serve again and hold on to win the match 6-2.

“I’m happy with the way I played today,” Nadal said. “I served well, I returned well, and I was able to move well on the court. I’m still not 100% fit, but I’m getting there.”

Nadal will next face Holger Rune in the quarterfinals. Rune is a 19-year-old Danish player who is ranked No. 109 in the world. He defeated Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.

“Rune is a great player,” Nadal said. “He’s young, he’s talented, and he’s hungry. I’m going to have to play my best to beat him.”


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In other results from the Brisbane International, Aryna Sabalenka defeated Elena Rybakina 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals. Sabalenka is the No. 2 seed in the tournament, while Rybakina is the No. 5 seed.

“I’m happy with the way I played today,” Sabalenka said. “I served well, I returned well, and I was able to move well on the court. I’m still not 100% fit, but I’m getting there.”

Sabalenka will next face Ajla Tomljanovic in the quarterfinals. Tomljanovic is a 28-year-old Australian player who is ranked No. 45 in the world. She defeated Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-3 in the second round.

“Tomljanovic is a great player,” Sabalenka said. “She’s experienced, she’s tough, and she’s playing at home. I’m going to have to play my best to beat her.”

The Brisbane International is a warm-up tournament for the Australian Open, which begins on January 16th.

Nadal’s return to the court is a welcome sight for tennis fans around the world. The Spaniard is one of the most popular players in the sport, and his comeback is sure to generate a lot of excitement in the lead-up to the Australian Open.

DISCLAIMER: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.

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