Rafael Nadal prepares for Australian Open by winning Melbourne Summer Set title | Tennis News

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov lead Canada to ATP Cup final victory over Spain in Sydney; Gael Monfils defeats Karen Khachanov in Adelaide International Final to win 11th touring title

Last updated: 09/01/22 13:05

Rafael Nadal celebrates winning Melbourne Summer Set title

Rafael Nadal warmed up for the Australian Open by winning the Melbourne Summer Set title with a straight set victory over US qualifier Maxime Cressy.

The 35-year-old Spaniard, playing his first tournament since August 2021, triumphed 7-6 (6) 6-3 in Sunday’s final.

Nadal’s trip to Australia had been in doubt due to a persistent foot injury and a recent episode of coronavirus.

But, having already knocked out Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis and Finnish Emil Ruusuvuori this week, he showed few signs of rust and took home the 89th trophy of his illustrious career with a victory in one hour and 44 minutes.

Nadal was playing in his first tournament since August of last year

Nadal was playing in his first tournament since August of last year

“I’m coming back from tough times and injuries so it means a lot to be here,” said the 20-time Grand Slam champion, before praising his opponent.

Cressy, the debutant of the ATP Tour final, put his top-level opponent to work for the win, saving five break points in a tight first set and also being denied a set point in the tie- break.

With the start of the first grand slam of 2022 just eight days away, Nadal – Australian Open champion in 2009 – was then forced to recover from a breach in Game 3 of the second set to claim the silverware. .

Glory for world number six has maintained its winning streak of at least one tour-level title every year since 2004.

Canada defeats Spain to win ATP Cup

Felix Auger-Aliassime (left) and Denis Shapovalov celebrate Canada's ATP Cup victory

Felix Auger-Aliassime (left) and Denis Shapovalov celebrate Canada’s ATP Cup victory

Canada won the ATP Cup with a victory over Spain.

Felix Auger-Aliassime won the title in Sydney with a 7-6 (3) 6-3 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut to give his country an insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Canada, who defeated Great Britain in the group stage of the competition and defeated defending champions Russia in the semifinals, led 1-0 thanks to Denis Shapovalov’s 6-4 6-3 victory over Pablo Carreno Busta.

“The emotions are incredible. There is no better feeling than winning. We left everything behind,” said Auger-Aliassime.

Team Canada lifts ATP Cup trophy

Team Canada lifts ATP Cup trophy

“We came a long way in this competition by losing our first four matches. But we never stopped believing in it.

“I think it’s very important. We trust each other at the highest level … the result is perfect. I’m very happy for the whole team and myself, of course.”

The beaten finalist Spain were also finalists in the tournament’s inaugural edition in 2020, when their squad included 20-time Grand Slam winner Nadal.

Monfils claims the title of Adelaide

In the Adelaide International, French seed Gael Monfils beat Russian second seed Karen Khachanov 6-4 6-4 for her 11th touring title.

Former world number six Monfils hasn’t lost a set all week in Adelaide and the 35-year-old couldn’t have hoped for better preparation for the Australian Open.

Gael Monfils defeated Karen Khachanov to win the Adelaide International

Gael Monfils defeated Karen Khachanov to win the Adelaide International

Monfils, who was in tears coming out of the Australian Open in the first round last year, was happy with his consistency in Adelaide.

“I think I played all these matches very solidly, that I was playing well,” he said, adding that the pandemic had “affected him quite badly”.

“For me that’s a key, always moving well, so I can be more aggressive, use my forehand more, use my serve more.

“The goal is to keep all that confidence, to bring in next week. Not starting tomorrow, but next week, to be ready to try and compete for the big AO.”

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