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Sunday, January 29, 2023

‘For me the important thing is to end up…’

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Rafael Nadal has two out of two on his South American tour. The Spaniard began his journey from Buenos Aires and scored a 7-6, 6-2 win over his good friend Casper Ruud at Arena Parque Roca. Ruud got a break in the fifth game of the match and opened up a 4-2 lead.

Rafa recovered the break in the eighth game and wasted a set point on the return of the tenth game. The Spaniard saved three set points in the tie break and prevailed 10-8 with a smash winner. Nadal broke Ruud in games three and five of the second set 4-1 and held love in the eighth game for a 7-6 6-2 win.

Two days later, the 22-time Major winner showed up in Chile against world number 86 Alejandro Tabilo. Nadal and Tabilo met at the San Carlos de Apoquindo stadium, near the capital, Santiago de Chile, and Rafa won 7-6, 6-3 in just under two hours.

Nadal saved four set points at 5-6 in the opening match and won the tie break 8-6. Tabilo broke early in the second set, but his lead didn’t last long. Nadal broke again in game four and delivered another return game to go up 5-3.

Rafa served to win the ninth game and remain undefeated on his South American tour. Tabilo saved a break point in the third game of the encounter for 2-1. The world number 2 played two break points in the sixth game, erasing them and closing the result at 3-3.

Alejandro opened a 5-4 gap with a service winner, and Rafa converted the next one at 15 for 5-5.

Rafa Nadal is a tennis legend

Rafael Nadal has said there needs to be freedom of expression as long as they ‘do not harm others’ following FIFA’s ban on political displays.

“We are in a global world in which people must have more and more rights. Everyone must have the freedom to express the feelings they have, as long as they do not harm others. Sport is a place to express oneself, because it has a global exposure at the media level, but, beyond all that, for me the important thing is to end up playing football,” he said.

“The decisions that FIFA makes or does not make may seem better or worse to me, but in the end they are rules and attitudes that they want to take at their event . The rest must be free to express themselves and show their disagreement, as is already happening,” he added.

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