Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open preparations on track with Melbourne title
Rafael Nadal defeated American Maxime Cressy 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 in the Melbourne Summer Set final.© AFP
Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal’s preparations for the Australian Open remain on track after defeating American Maxime Cressy 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 in the Melbourne Summer Set final on Sunday. Nadal decided to play the lower level tournament to train for the match after missing much of 2021 with injury and Covid. He hasn’t been completely smooth this week and was pushed hard by the US qualifier, but Nadal had too much experience for the 24-year-old serving volleyball player. It was Nadal’s 89th title on the ATP Tour and this victory ensures he has won at least one singles crown every year for the past 19 years.
Cressy, who had to win in two qualifying rounds just to make the main draw, started nervously but grew more confident as the game progressed.
The American had a set point in the tie-break but couldn’t convert and once Nadal won the first set the end result was almost inevitable.
Nadal will aim to break the record for most Grand Slam singles titles at this month’s Australian Open.
He is currently tied on 20 titles with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, but with Federer injured and Djokovic in doubt due to visa problems, Nadal has a chance to get ahead of his big rivals.
Nadal was playing his first tournament since August after an injury and then contracted Covid.
He said that while he was sick he couldn’t get out of bed for days, but once he started to recover he had no doubt he would come to Australia to try and win his second title at Melbourne Park.
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