Nadal celebrates winning a point today. AFP
Rafael Nadal through to tennis quarter-finals in Brisbane

Rafael Nadal through to tennis quarter-finals in Brisbane

The veteran Spaniard is looking strong on his return from long-term injury after beating Jason Kubler this Thursday morning

Enric Gardiner


Thursday, 4 January 2024, 15:40

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Veteran tennis star Rafael Nadal's return to action after a 350-day hiatus is going well: he's now through to the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International after beating Jason Kubler this Thursday morning.

It was a fairly routine win for the 37-year-old, displaying his trademark skills to see off the Australian 6-1, 6-2 in the round of 16.

The Mallorcan won 14 out of the first 15 points (the one lost was a double fault), blowing his shell-shocked opponent out of the water from the outset.

This was the Spaniard's second win of the week, after putting in another dominant performance against Austrian Dominic Thiem on Tuesday, showcasing a formidable serve and trademark forehand on the way to a convincing 7-5 6-1 victory.

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Thiem, a shadow of his former self due to ongoing wrist issues, put up a fight in the first set but crumbled under Nadal's pressure, leading to a decisive victory for the 22-time Grand Slam winner.

Despite doubts about his form after a year away, Nadal's aggressive play and powerful shots have quickly dispelled concerns, particularly about his fitness at 38 - an age at which no one has clinched a Grand Slam in the Open Era.

Nadal faces another Australian in the form of Jordan Thompson on Friday for a place in the semi-finals.

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