Rafael Nadal is (very) far from being rusty, thank you for him. For his first match in post-Covid-19 competition, the Mallorcan outclassed his compatriot Pablo Carreño Busta in two small sets and just over an hour of play (6-1, 6-1). More precise, more powerful, the world n ° 2 signed his return in the best possible way.
We could ask ourselves legitimate questions about Rafael Nadal’s return to competition. After all, the Spaniard hadn’t played on the tour for six months and his victory at the Acapulco tournament at the end of February. But on the clay of the Masters 1000 in Rome, in front of an almost empty stadium – health situation requires, the world No. 2 swept away with a forehand winning doubts and questions.
Disgusted Carreno Busta
His opponent Pablo Carreno Busta, who just reached the semi-final at the US Open, was scattered in two short, dry sets. It is difficult to know if the 18th in the world was worn out after its fine New York career. Still, he has hardly ever been able to stop Manacor’s machine.
If we except the first game where he had to save a break point entry, “Rafa” controlled the game from start to finish. As a boss. The Mallorcan, sometimes guilty of some unusual mistakes, overwhelmed his compatriot every time he accelerated. His ball length, especially in return, and the heaviness of his shots, very often disgusted Carreno Busta, who quickly dropped the flag.
Rafael Nadal during his match against Carreno Busta, at the Rome Masters, September 16, 2020
Credit: Getty Images
With very clean stats (20 winning shots for 11 unforced errors, 12-28 on the side of Carreno Busta), Nadal therefore did not delay to get his ticket in the second round. And if it will be necessary to wait for a tougher opposition to confirm, his opponents have already been warned: the pandemic and the containment do not seem to have, in the least, rusted the king of the earth.