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Rafael Nadal loses to Jordan Thompson in comeback tournament at Brisbane International

Published at :January 5, 2024 at 10:07 PM
Modified at :January 13, 2024 at 11:29 AM
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(Courtesy : RafaelNadal fans)

Ajay Gandhar

The Spaniard is making a return to tennis after almost a year out.

In a thrilling quarter-final at the Brisbane International, Australian tennis player Jordan Thompson halted the comeback of Spanish legend Rafael Nadal. The match, which lasted 3 hours and 25 minutes, saw Thompson save three match points in the second set before finally overcoming Nadal with a score of 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4.

Nadal, who had been in excellent form with easy wins in his opening two rounds which saw him steamroll Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler without dropping sets, seemed poised for straight sets win over Thompson after claiming the first set and leading 6-4 in the second set tiebreak. However, Thompson, ranked 55th in the world, refused to back down. Capitalizing on some unforced errors from Nadal, he clinched the second set.

The third set was a grueling affair. Nadal, who was broken early, took a medical time out at 1-4 down, apparently needing treatment for his upper left thigh. Despite being able to continue, he was unable to break back, and Thompson held on to the delight of the capacity crowd. Jordan Thompson will face Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria who thrashed Rinky Hijikata 6-1, 6-4 in straight sets which included 12 aces.

Despite the loss, Nadal’s performance in Brisbane has been encouraging, especially considering his long-awaited return after almost a year out with injury. After a year-long break due to a hip injury, Rafael Nadal, the former world no.1 and 22-time grand slam champion, reached the quarterfinals for the 225th time,

As the Australian Open approaches, Nadal’s rehabilitation from the hip injury and surgery that sidelined him for most of 2023 will be tested.

In Women’s draws, defending Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka advanced to the Brisbane International semi-finals with a straight-set win over Daria Kasatkina. She will face fellow Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, while Elena Rybakina, who reached the semis after her opponent withdrew, will play against Linda Noskova.

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