Rafael Nadal played his first tennis match since his French Open exit, beating Jack Sock 6-2 4-6 7-6(1) at the Citi Open.
Nadal began the tournament in the second round and navigated his way through to the third in a match that lasted over three hours. He had to nurse a previously injured left foot and rediscover his form after weeks away from action, hitting an unusual amount of errors and struggling with his normally reliable service game.
The 35-year-old Spaniard acknowledged his struggles to overcome Sock.
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“The match wasn't easy,” Nadal said. “I started to suffer a little bit too much.”
Nadal’s last match was a defeat to Novak Djokovic on June 11 at the semi-finals of Roland Garros, and a foot problem caused him to miss the next two major events on the tennis calendar: Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.
“I know [it] will not be easy after a couple of months, coming back from a tough situation with my foot, a couple of months without playing,” Nadal said of his time away.
“But here I am. I [fought]. I am able to play again tomorrow, so that's great news.”
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