Rafael Nadal kicks off Madrid Open campaign with a convincing victory

What a win for Rafael Nadal (skysports.com)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Tennis living legend Rafael Nadal passed his first test in the ongoing Madrid Open with flying colors after dominating Darwin Blanch of America- 6.1, 6.0- on April 25, 2024, at the Caja Magica in Manzanares Park, San Fermin, Spain.

The five-time champion in Madrid pulled off a majestic performance in front of his home fans and crushed the 16-year-old American on his pet surface, the clay court.

It was a scintillating display of high-level tennis as Nadal immediately took control of the match in the opening set with an early break point.

After scoring the momentum-boosting break point, Nadal then just caught fire and held all of his service possessions to take care of the first set in just 20 minutes of action.

Aside from his consistent serving game, Nadal also dominated the baseline exchanges and held the young American scoreless in the final three minutes of the first set.

Blanch tried to shift the tempo of the game in the second set after staying away from his defensive game and went toe-to-toe with Nadal in the groundstroke rally.

However, Nadal’s court mastery once again made the difference as the 22-time Grand Slam champion found Blanch’s weak spots in his backhand side.

After noticing Blanch’s inconsistency in his backhand stroke, Nadal just continued to pummel the ball in that direction and clinched the Round of 128 win.

With the victory, Nadal will next be facing a familiar foe, Alex de Minaur, in the Round of 64 of the 2024 Madrid Open.


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