Spaniard Rafael Nadal struggled to win his first match after a two-month absence due to injury, by defeating American Jack Sock 6-2, 4-6, 7-6, in the second round of the Washington Tennis Tournament.
It took the 35-year-old to be the first fair in this session, which is in preparation for the Flushing Meadows Championship, three hours, to resolve his confrontation with the 192nd ranked American in front of nearly 7,000 spectators.
The world number three has been absent since losing the Roland Garros semi-final against Serbian rival Novak Djokovic last June, due to a foot injury that prevented him from participating in the Wimbledon Championships, the third grand slam, and the Tokyo Olympics, which is currently held after a year delay due to the Corona virus.
After the victory, Nadal confirmed: “I am in a good physical condition, all I need is for my feet not to hurt a lot,” revealing, “I felt the pain this evening, and I hope it will be better tomorrow.”
He added, “If my feet improve, all other things will follow.”
The Spaniard will meet South African Lloyd Harris, who in turn defeated American Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 1-0, and then withdraws.
Fifth-seeded Italian Yannick Sener was one of the most prominent qualifiers for the final on Wednesday, defeating Finland’s Emil Rosovori 6-2, 6-4, while Japanese veteran Kei Nishikori, the 2015 champion, beat Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik, ninth, 6-2 7-4, and the Australian John Millman XI beat Elias Emmer 6-2 7-6.
Australian Alex de Minaur, third, and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, fourth, were the most prominent victims of the second round, losing the first to American Steve Johnson 7-6, 4-6, 2-6, and the second to Belarusian Ilya Ivashka 2-6, 6-7.