Tennis Live Today: Rafael Nadal’s comeback from injury was unsuccessful as the Spaniard lost to Borna Coric in three sets at the Western & Southern Open.
In his first match since being forced to withdraw from Wimbledon prior to his semi-final match against Nick Kyrgios due to an abdominal tear, the 36-year-old was defeated 6-7(9), 6-4, 3-6.
“It has been very, very special,” Coric said during his on-court interview afterwards. “I was out for the last two years and I didn’t play on the big stage in front of the crowd and everybody. I was honestly just looking forward to playing this match as I haven’t had that in the last two years. Now that I won, it’s kind of crazy.”
— Western & Southern Open (@CincyTennis) August 18, 2022
Both Borna coric and Nadal battled hard from the beginning of the match, saving two set points during a gruelling first-set tie break that ultimately went in favour of the Croatian. Coric was making his own comeback after missing Wimbledon due to injury.
“Obviously I didn’t play my best match, something that can happen,” Nadal told reporters. “So coming back from a tough period of time, something that’s easy to accept and easy to say congrats to Borna that he played better.
“I need to improve. I need to practise. I need to return better. I need days, and that’s the truth. It’s obvious that I was not ready enough to win the match today. (It) has been a difficult injury to manage. The last month and a half haven’t been easy.”
When Nadal visits Flushing Meadows, a venue where he has previously triumphed four times, he will be going for a 23rd Grand Slam singles victory.
“I am positive,” he said. “In terms of practice, I need to start to be in a Grand Slam mode, practising the way that I need to practise to be competitive since the beginning there, and I hope I will be able to make that happen.
“I need to move forward and just start to think about the energy that the crowd gives me in New York. I know it’s a very special place for me, and I enjoy it, unforgettable moments there, and I’m going to try my very best every single day to be ready for that.”
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