Nadal wins in Melbourne and launches Australian Open candidacy

Nadal, number six in the world rankings, needed two sets to beat Cressy 7-6 (8/6) and 6-3 and win his 89th title on the professional circuit.

“Having a trophy under the arm means a lot after having been unemployed for so long due to injury,” admitted the Iberian during the award ceremony.

The 35-year-old European had barely played a couple of games in Washington since his lost semi-final at Roland Garros last June, weighed down by recurring left foot problems.

In addition, he became infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in late December during an exhibition contest in Abu Dhabi.

This Sunday Cressy was under great pressure from Nadal from the beginning to fall in one hour and 48 minutes of play.

The Spanish reached 76 percent of the points with the first serve, better than the 65 of the North American, who also surpassed in the units achieved supported by the second serve (82 compared to 65 percent) and made two breaks eight times per one of the defeated on one occasion.

Winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, the same as Roger Federer of Switzerland and Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Nadal already has his sights set on the Australian Open, January 17-30.

The star can now boast of having won at least one title on the circuit in each of the last 19 seasons.

With 89 men’s singles titles, Nadal is the fourth most successful tennis player of the Open era, behind Czech Ivan Lendl (94), Federer (103) and American Jimmy Connors (109).

In the women’s division, the Romanian Simona Halep, former world number one, defeated the Russian Veronika Kudermetova 6-2, 6-3 and won the 23rd title of her career.

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