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Rafael Nadal Wins His First Tennis Game After 349 Days




Spanish tennis icon, Rafael Nadal started 2024 with a win at the Brisbane International after being sidelined for 349 days.

Rafael Nadal, who is a 22-time Grand Slam winner, announced his return from injury with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Dominic Thiem earlier today, January 2.

Recall that Nadal began his comeback from his almost one-year injury layoff in Brisbane on Sunday, two days before his first singles test. He and his compatriot Marc Lopez lost in doubles to Australians Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson.

In his singles against Thiem, he won 21 of his first 24 points when serving, setting the tone and showcasing his brilliance, composure, and agility to the pleasure of the eager spectators.

The 2020 US Open champion Thiem, who has struggled with injuries of his own, has not experienced any alarms in his opening five service games. However, Nadal, who is renowned for his passion and accurate movement, took advantage of his opportunity in the twelfth game, winning the first set with his fourth break point.

He continued that momentum at the start of the second set, winning love holdings on both sides and then breaking the Austrian’s serve again to take a 3-0 lead.

Thiem was unable to prevent Nadal from taking advantage of another break to take a commanding 5-1 lead.

After winning the game, Rafael Nadal praised the crowd for being a part of such a significant occasion for him as he raised his hands in excitement.

“Today is honestly an emotional and important day for me after probably one of the toughest years of my tennis career”, Nadal said.

“I had the chance to come back after a year and play in front of an amazing crowd and play at a very positive level on the first day, [It] is something that makes us feel proud – my team and family who have been there every day in the last year.”

Rafael Nadal used his match against Dominic Thiem to prepare for the Australian Open, which begins on January 14 in Melbourne.

Before the game on Tuesday, the last time Nadal played singles was in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open in January.