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Главная » 2022 » January » 9 » PHOTOS/VIDEO: Rafael Nadal wins the Melbourne Summer Set 2022!
PHOTOS/VIDEO: Rafael Nadal wins the Melbourne Summer Set 2022!

Victory tastes sweeter when it comes via the long route and after 13 years Rafael Nadal is savouring just his second title on Australian soil as the Melbourne Summer Set champion.

Nadal’s 89th career singles title came via a 7-6(6) 6-3 triumph over American qualifier Maxime Cressy on Sunday night in the Spaniard’s first tour event since he called time on last season in August due to a left foot injury.

The only previous occasion the 20-time major champion had sunk his teeth into a champion’s trophy Down Under came at Australian Open 2009.

His first hard-court title since Acapulco nearly two years ago came even sweeter on the court named after one of his idols.

“(There have) been tremendously challenging moments and everybody's making big efforts to make this happen so I feel privileged, a very lucky guy to be here again,” Nadal said.

“I'm coming back from some challenging moments in terms of injuries, so I can't be happier today. 

“It means a lot to be back with a trophy in my hands after everything… This court has been always very, very special for me. I've enjoyed unbelievable moments here. The name of this court – Rod Laver Arena – is very, very special for everyone… A lot of emotions I enjoyed here.”

Source: Australian Open

• Match photos





• Trophy Ceremony

Photos; Getty Images; AAP; AFP


• Last game


• Highlights


• Trophy Ceremony


• Press conference

Q. How pleased are you and your team with tonight's result?

RAFAEL NADAL: Good. Of course very happy to start the season with a title. It's another season at least winning a title, and coming from where we are coming, it's very special, so super happy for that.

Tonight I think I played my best match so far since I arrived here, without a doubt, against a very difficult player to play against. Yeah, it's a positive start.

Now I have one week to keep practicing, which of course I was able to play three matches, win a title. That's going to help.

Q. In terms of the setbacks you've had with COVID and obviously all the preparation, you've just won a title. Are you exactly where you want to be, and what are you looking to get out of the next week to make sure you're completely ready?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, exactly where I would like to be is being 100 percent healthy from last year, playing until the end of the season and without coming back after five, six months outside of the competition and with a lot of troubles to have enough practices. So of course I am not exactly the place that I want to be.

But I am very happy. If we put everything together and analyze all the things that I went through the last five months, including the COVID after Abu Dhabi, of course I am happy. I think I had a great week of practice before the tournament started.

I think my practices have been much better than my level of tennis on the competition, something that is completely normal today after a while without being on the tour, but in some way that's very positive, because if the level of tennis during the practices are there, victories help, and the only thing that I need is stay healthy and spend time on court, on official matches.

Q. What do you make of Maxime's game? He's obviously a very unique style in modern tennis right now, playing the serve-and-volley style. Do you think that can be a way to become a top player in this era, or is that something that's already sort of in the past and going to be difficult to sustain at ATP level?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. I think he has a good potential. He's going to be a very uncomfortable player for every opponent, for the top opponents, for the lower ranking opponents. It depends, as most of the players. I think he's coming from the university if I'm not wrong, so he's young on the tour, so he has room to improve.

I mean, he went very fast up on the ranking. Probably when somebody does his improvement with very short period of time, it's because his level is much higher than what his ranking says today.

No, I'm sure that on hard, indoor, grass, he can be a very dangerous player, and I am really sure that if he's mentally prepared - I don't know him, he looks quite nice and humble and professional - so if he's able to stay focused and do what he has to do, he's going to be much higher on the ranking at the end of the season without a doubt.

Q. I just wanted to ask, you haven't reached the semifinals at the Australian Open since you won the title in 2009. I just wondered if there's anything you find difficult or challenging about the conditions compared to other Grand Slams. Also, do you think that this year it's not normal for you to play a warmup tournament at Melbourne Park because that option hasn't been there in the past. Do you think that will help you?

RAFAEL NADAL: I am very sorry to tell you - I don't want to - but I have been in the final of 2012, '14, '17, '18. I got injured a couple of times here in my tennis career, so of course it's been a great tournament for me, and of course I had a lot of challenges in terms of injuries in this event.

Sorry to correct you.

Q. After five months away from the tour, tell me what it means to you to win this title.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, to win a title is always special, and at the same time, after all the things that we went through, I had tremendous support from my team without a doubt, from my family, and yeah, of course there have been still doubts but even more doubts during a lot of months if I will be able to be back.

Yeah, I think they have been there always. I think I tried hard, honestly. There have been some very challenging moments, and I have been working very hard even in the very tough moments. I never say, and I will never say I deserve this, because I think a lot of people deserve, but I really worked hard, so I am quite satisfied the way that I approached all these very challenging months in terms of attitude, in terms of positive spirit and in terms of passion to try to be back.

This title helps to keep going, and it's of course just the beginning. I have a lot of things to keep improving, but I really want to do it, and I'm going to try hard.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports



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