In Washington DC they had never been able to see Rafa Nadal play live. That’s why, in the first openly organized tournament without fear of COVID, the 7,500 seats on the center court of the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center were filled. on the occasion of his debut in the capital of the Balearic Islands, the player who undoubtedly makes American fans enjoy more. Rafa did not disappoint, who despite playing with problems in his right foot gave a lesson in bravery somewhat unconscious to win 6-2, 4-6 and 7-6 (1) in almost three hours to a rival from the host country, Jack sock. And above all, he gave a show.
In the second round, if he decides to continue (he made goodbye gestures at the end), they will be seen this Thursday (01:00) in an unprecedented duel with the South African Lloyd Harris (24 years and 50th in the world), who went through the retirement of Tennys Sandgren when he beat him 6-4 and 1-0. “The foot bothered me a little more than necessary, that’s not good news, it is that I found the way to win the game, to get ahead, and that gives me the opportunity to play again, “he said later about an annoyance that he wants to see” for the better “.” If not, I will have to look for other solutions “he warned.
We are NOT WORTHY 🔥🔥🔥
– Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 4, 2021
The public, without masks, was fed up with cheering the Spanish’s fantasy points, who showed an incomplete state of form although he supplied it with a remarkable tennis (41 winners and 17 unforced errors) despite having not played for almost two months, since he lost in the Roland Garros semifinals against Novak Djokovic on June 11. On hard court, Nadal played his last match on February 17 against Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. Yes he accused the inactivity when the thing was extended the number three of the world, great protagonist of this ATP 500 that invited him and, of course, he does not regret it. Because it gathers a large audience also in training and He is an improvised ambassador of luxury for a city in which he has made tourism and has shared it on social networks.
Sock, a 28-year-old tennis player with a powerful drive who made it to the top-10 in 2017 and then went down due to a string of injuries, was a very good touchstone for Nadal. In fact, he already had three break balls in the third game. Although, little by little and with trade, Rafa, who dominated the face-to-face 5-0, saved the compromising situations and found cracks in the game of the proud and long-suffering American. With two breaks, the one from Manacor took an intense first set and faced the second with some relaxation and increasing physical decline. That’s why he conceded a break that put him on the ropes in the second set (5-3) against a grown Sock and he could no longer reverse the situation.
The last reaction from the winner of 20 Grand Slams came when it least seemed possible, with Nadal clearly diminished, limping and at a disadvantage (3-1). The crowd, who seemed Spanish rather than American, led him to a predictable victory that turned out to be unexpected. Sock got tangled up trying to take advantage of his opponent’s problems. The excess of intention turned against him and Rafa smelled the blood to seize with his undeniable breed the opportunities that were presented to him and prevail in a wonderfully executed tiebreaker. That is why it is so big.