Rafael Nadal’s Return to Tennis at Barcelona Open Ends in the 2nd Round

Rafael Nadal at the French Open Tennis Championships in 2019
Rafael Nadal at the French Open Tennis Championships in 2019. Photo by Ella Ling/BPI/Shutterstock (10266531ad)

Rafael Nadal saw his return to tennis at this year’s Barcelona Open end after just two rounds. Australian Alex de Minaur eliminated Nadal from the tournament with a straight-set (7-5, 6-1) win on Wednesday.

Due to injuries, Nadal hasn’t played a single tournament since January, when he reached the quarterfinals at Brisbane International. He looked in good shape in his first-round win against Flavio Cobolli, but fourth-seeded de Minaur proved to be too much of a challenge.

 Nadal, who won 12 titles in Barcelona, was greeted by loud cheers from the sell-out crowd as he made his way off the court.

Speaking with reporters after the match, Nadal said that he didn’t want to take any risks and that he was just happy because he was able to play. Prior to playing in Brisbane, he didn’t play for almost a year due to a hip injury.

“The moment I lost the first set, the match was over,” Nadal told the reporters. “I can’t play a three-hour match right now. This wasn’t the place for me to give everything I have. We’ll see what happens in Paris. I want to be competitive there, that’s where I have to give it all.”

Nadal’s focus will now be on the French Open, where he’ll attempt to win his 15th Roland Garros title and his 23rd Grand Slam.