SportRafa Nadal dodges Adrian Mannarino's trap and is already...

Rafa Nadal dodges Adrian Mannarino's trap and is already in the quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal is already in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open after a meeting that is heading towards the strangest of his career. The Spanish tennis player faced Adrian Mannarino in an extraordinary battle in the first set, from which he emerged the winner despite a thousand and one tricks by the French magician, who ended up injured and paid for the effort (7-6, 6-2, 6 -2) exaggerated to measure yourself from you to you in that fight with Rafa. Two hours and 42 minutes of the match, more than half in the first set, were enough for Nadal to sneak, for the fourteenth time, among the eight best tennis players in Melbourne .

The match was expected to be of a high level, especially in terms of fun, within an element between two tennis players from the most opposite of the circuit. The power of Nadal ‘s blows contrasted with the mischievousness and style of Mannarino , that tennis player who takes advantage, precisely, of the strength of his rivals to hit very, very far ahead and with constant tricks become a more than competitive element.

Hurkacz and Karatsev confirmed it, both top seeds who ended up being buried by Adrian, and Nadal was also going to do it in an authentic first set. An hour and twenty minutes of irregular tennis on the Mannacorense’s side left Mannarino as the star at the Rod Laver Arena . His shots, hitherto unpublished for many, conquered the spectators, who saw that a different kind of tennis is possible in the era of punchers.

Openly and spurred on by his own inspiration, Mannarino levitated on the track and closed any opportunity for Nadal to stand out in the light. Game by game the alternation came while Rafa had problems with his most precious blow, the right.

So far everything seemed like a Mannarino monologue, but the reality is that Nadal kept his serve and, therefore, the equality necessary to send the set to a tie break that for almost half an hour would leave players and spectators breathless. There were six set points wasted by Rafa and four by Adrian until the Spaniard, on the seventh and with a mischievous and voracious point, took the cat to the water to get out of the Frenchman’s trap.

After so many tricks from Mannarino , Rafa found the krtyponite with an unexpected hit on offense like the slice backhand, but it was more useful than any other due to the transfer of power in terms of strength. Adrian went from taking advantage of Nadal to having to provide the power with shots under the net and that’s where the game changed.

Rafa neutralizes the magic of Mannarino

The Frenchman also suffered a groin problem in the tie-break that would begin to affect him for the rest of the match. Nadal , insurmountable from the achievement of the set, achieved the expected break from the start in a second set diametrically opposed to what was seen in its predecessor. Rafa ‘s forehand responded again and was added to a notable high backhand that sent the match, again, at normal rates and consistent with the predictions.

Mannarino , less and less mobile due to the fatigue-injury combo, cried out for the presence of the physio to try to continue in the match. After his arrival and in an attempt to return to 100%, he found himself with a new service to Nadal ‘s pocket, which carried the double prize of the second set, closed at 6-2.

Everything was under control, finally, for Nadal , and in the third set Mannarino ‘s competitiveness continued in the same way as in the previous one. Without a top level physically, it was impossible to compete with the man from Manacor and thus he left the game exposed to an absolute inspiration in his blows that no longer accompanied him. Rafa went back to add another break and increased the advantage with a second that, without reaching his maximum level, gave him the pass to the quarterfinals, the fourteenth in his career, at the Australian Open.

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