Nadal gana el torneo Summer Set de Melbourne en su regreso al circuito /Rafael Nadal warms up for Australian Open by winning title at Melbourne Summer Set

El tenista español no ha perdido un solo set en sus tres partidos disputados esta semana (sin contar la baja de su rival en cuartos de final)

Rafael Nadal conquistó el torneo ATP 250 Summer Set de Melbourne en su regreso al circuito luego de cinco meses de ausencia, al derrotar al estadounidense Maxime Cressy (112º) por 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 este domingo, a ocho días del Abierto de Australia (17-30 de enero).

Nadal, de 35 años y N.6 del mundo, apenas había jugado un par de partidos en Washington desde su semifinal perdida en Roland Garros el pasado mes de junio, lastrado por sus recurrentes problemas en el pie izquierdo. El mallorquín, además, se contagió de covid-19 a finales de diciembre durante un torneo de exhibición en Abu Dabi.

El ganador de 20 títulos de Grand Slam, los mismos que Roger Federer y Novak Djokovic, logró así el 89º título de su carrera, el primero desde Roma el pasado mes de mayo.

El tenista español no ha perdido un solo set en sus tres partidos disputados esta semana (sin contar la baja de su rival en cuartos de final), aunque una doble falta ofreció a Cressy una bola de set en el tie-break de la final.

Pero al final ‘Rafa’ impuso su autoridad para llevarse la victoria en poco menos de 1 hora y 45 minutos.

Con 33 ‘winners’ Nadal demostró iniciar el año con fuerza ante el horizonte cercano del Abierto de Australia, primer Grand Slam de 2022. Por AFP

Rafael Nadal warms up for Australian Open by winning title at Melbourne Summer Set

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov lead Canada to ATP Cup final victory over Spain in Sydney; Gael Monfils defeats Karen Khachanov in the Adelaide International final to claim his 11th tour title

Rafael Nadal warmed up for the Australian Open by clinching the Melbourne Summer Set title with a straight-sets victory over American qualifier Maxime Cressy.

The 35-year-old Spaniard, playing in his first tournament since August 2021, triumphed 7-6 (6) 6-3 in Sunday’s final.

Nadal’s trip to Australia had been in doubt due to a lingering foot injury and a recent bout of coronavirus.

But, having already dispatched Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis and Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori this week, he showed little signs of rustiness and collected the 89th trophy of his illustrious career with victory in an hour and 44 minutes.

“I’m coming back from some challenging moments and injuries, so it means a lot to be here,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion said, before praising his opponent.

ATP Tour final debutant Cressy made his high-profile opponent work for the win, saving five break points in a close-run first set and also being denied a set point in the tie break.

With the start of the first grand slam of 2022 just eight days away, Nadal – Australian Open champion in 2009 – was then forced to recover from being broken in the third game of the second set to claim silverware.

Glory for the world number six maintains his run of clinching at least one tour-level title every year since 2004.

Canada won the ATP Cup with victory over Spain.

Felix Auger-Aliassime clinched the title in Sydney with a 7-6 (3) 6-3 victory against Roberto Bautista Agut to give his country an insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Canada, who overcame Great Britain in the group stage of the competition and beat defending champions Russia in the semi-finals, led 1-0 thanks to Denis Shapovalov’s 6-4 6-3 success over Pablo Carreno Busta.

“The emotions are unbelievable. There’s no better feeling than winning. We left everything out there,” said Auger-Aliassime. skysports