Rafael Nadal dismisses injury worries following a scare in the first round of the Citi Open.
In his first match in in two months, the world number three narrowly avoided defeat in the first round in Washington.
Rafael Nadal was put to the test overnight in Washington, as he needed more than three hours to defeat American Jack Sock. After missing Wimbledon and the Olympics due to a foot ailment, the Spaniard was playing his first match since a shock semi-final loss at Roland Garros in June. As he battled agony, he nearly averted defeat, defeating the world number 192 in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, and 7-6. (1).
Nadal played down his injuries after surviving a tough test in his first encounter back on the tour.
The world number three got off to a fast start, winning the first set 6-2, but there were hints he was still dealing with the left foot injury that forced him to miss the French Open for 20 days.
In the third and final set, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was forced to come back from a break down, his movement restricted on occasion as he battled to deal with the American’s deep forehand returns.
In his first appearance at the Citi Open, Nadal was able to rally and win the match in a third-set tiebreak.
Despite looking to be hampered by a chronic left foot issue, the Spaniard expects to play Lloyd Harris in the third round.
“I’ve had my fill of rest. Maybe [it]isn’t about resting, but rather about keeping going, about not practicing as much because I just finished a three-hour match and need to be ready for tomorrow,” he explained.
“I’ll do a quick warm-up tomorrow to make sure I’m ready for the game.” I’ll be up against a formidable opponent. Let’s see what happens. Tomorrow is another day, another chance to perform in front of this incredible audience. I’d like to repeat the experience.”
“I think I started more or less well,” Nadal continued. Then in the second set, I had a poor game. As the interaction progressed, I became aware of the ache in my foot and began to suffer excessively.
“From the second set on, Jack played superbly, and I couldn’t hurt him with my strokes or break his aggression and initiative. “Brinkwire Summary News”: “It was tough, but I played better in the last stages.”