Rafa Nadal returns with defeat, smile and alongside Marc López in doubles in Brisbane


The Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal returned to the courts in an official tournament this Sunday morning in the doubles draw of the ATP250 tournament in Brisbane (Australia), after almost a year of absence due to injury, and he did so with a defeat along with his friend Marc López against the local couple formed by Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson by double 6-4.

Defeat is the least important thing and the smile with which Rafa Nadal left the center court of the Queensland Tennis Centre, in brutal complicity with his partner and member of the coaching staff Marc López, was the highlight of the Manacorí's long-awaited return to competition, who will debut in the individual draw in Brisbane on January 2 against Dominic Thiem.

After almost a year without competing, the 22-time 'Grand Slam' champion felt like a tennis player again and began to regain sensations with the racket, the ball and the Australian court, with a view to being in the first 'Grand Slam' of the year, the same one in which earlier this year, on January 18, 2023, he was injured and played his last game.

Having overcome that injury to the iliac psoas muscle in his left leg, although without avoiding pain, and in a season that smells like farewell, Rafa Nadal decided to play again and has done so alongside Marc López, 'retired' since 2022 and that he returned to the courts to help the manacorí, with whom he won the gold medal in doubles at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

This time, in Brisbane, victory was not a priority. And it was not to get injured and to start calibrating strength. And yet, they put a solid, active and much younger couple in trouble who, in addition, were much superior in serving – twelve direct serves from the 'Aussies' compared to none of the Spanish couple – and ended up winning. by physical.

The match lasted just 73 minutes, but they helped Nadal experience the match in style. Furthermore, having López by his side, with whom he won six tournaments and played 45 matches in his best moment as a doubles partner, was the icing on the cake for his return. A return that left him happy, smiling, and more prepared for his singles debut against Thiem.


On the other hand, the Spanish Cristina Bucsa won her First Round match at the WTA500 tournament in Brisbane against the Belgian Greet Minnen, in three sets and by 5-7, 6-3 and 6-1, to continue advancing in the first tournament of the year.

The Spaniard of Moldovan origin beat Minnen in a prestigious victory since the Belgian tennis player had won in her two previous duels, who this time began by taking the first round but was overcome and overcome by Bucsa, current world number 61 and two positions below his rival this Sunday, whom he beat with good command of his service.