Rafael Nadal returned to the ATP tour in style by registering a thumping victory against Maxime Cressy 7-6(6), 6-3 to lift the Melbourne Summer Set trophy. The Spaniard was playing for the first time since August this week after a foot injury and COVID-19 virus curtailed his 2021 season. However, World No. 6 was not at his best and was pushed hard by the American qualifier but with the kind of experience Nadal had, he ensured that it was not a shocking result but the one world has come to expect of the 20-time Grand slam winner.
Post the match, Nadal accepted the fact that while he was not in perfect shape but was happy with the results. However, the Tennis ace, widely regarded for his aggressive style of the game, never shies away from responding to his critics either.
In an interesting exchange of chats that took place on Twitter on Sunday, Nadal corrected journalist Stuart Fraser with some facts. Fraser posted a tweet about reminding Nadal that the latter hadn’t reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open since 2009 and there is a decent chance that he will be stopped at the border for asking such questions. His tweet read, “It’s been a long week. Just told Rafael Nadal he hadn’t reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open since 2009. Decent chance I’ll be stopped at the border for that…”
It's been a long week. Just told Rafael Nadal he hadn't reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open since 2009. Decent chance I'll be stopped at the border for that…
— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) January 9, 2022
However, reportedly Nadal was quick to correct the sports correspondent for getting his facts wrong. As per reports, Nadal politely responded by reminding Fraser that he had been in the semifinal of 2012 (runners-up), 14 (runners-up), 17 (runner-up) and 18. The Spaniard also accepted the fact that the tournament has been challenging for the player as he has gained injuries in his career which made it tough for him, but still the tournament has been a great platform for him.
Notably, Nadal was competing in his first final on Australian soil since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open championship match in 2019. With his victory, the top seed has now continued his run of clinching at least one tour-level title every year since 2004.