Rafael Nadal has not played much this season. The first tournament he played was the Australian Open. At the Open, he lost in the Semi-finals to Stefanos Tsitsipas in a tight five round encounter. Nadal who is known for his brute strength, stamina and ability to make a comeback in matches, was two sets up but was outlasted as Tsitsipas won the next three sets to win the match 3-2. The final scoreline 6-3 6-2 6-7 4-6 5-7. After the Australian Open, Nadal complained of niggles and a bad back and did not play again on hard courts.
He returned to the tour at the Monte Carlo Masters, on clay, an event that he has dominated in the past. Nadal started well, winning his first match against Argentine Federico Delbonis in straight sets. In the second he beat Grigor Dimitrov, in straight sets. But in his third match, faced with the quality and confidence of Andrey Rublev, Rafael Nadal perished. He lost the match 2-6 6-4 2-6. This was a shock to the system of Nadal and his fans and well wishers, but the entourage moved on to Barcelona.
Rafael Nadal completes come back victory
The Barcelona Open is another venue where Nadal has dominated in the past, and expectations will be nothing short of winning the title. In the first match, Nadal was up against twenty-seven year old Belarusian Ilya Ivashka. Ranked at no,111 in the world, Ivashka was not expected to do much but to everyone’s surprise he won the first set 6-3.
At this point, Nadal said post-match. “ I was expecting a reaction from myself, and I got one.” Nadal came back to win the next two sets and win the match 3-6 6-2 6-4. After the match Nadal said, “After losing the first set I was worried. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. I am human.”