Nadal Achieves 225th Career Tour-Level QF, Races past Kubler in Brisbane


Following an impressive winning return to tour-level competition, contesting his first-round singles match at Brisbane International in nearly a year, Rafael Nadal raced past Aussie Jason Kubler in straight sets to progress into the last eight on Thursday at Pat Rafter Arena.

Competing in the second round match at Brisbane International presented by Evie, 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal toppled world No. 102 Jason Kubler 6-1, 6-2 after one hour and 23 minutes to reach a 225th career quarterfinal on Thursday at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Australia.

The former world number one continues to build a competitive comeback to professional tennis, nearly 12 months after being sidelined from tour due to an injury that required hip surgery last June.

Assessing his performance, the 37-year-old outlined: “I started the match playing very well, with very good determination.”

In control from the off, he lost just one of the first 15 points in the match, winning 86 percent on his first serve and 56 percent alone in return throughout the opener.

I saw videos of Jason before the match, and I saw he played very solid from the baseline, so I came on the court trying to be aggressive with my shots from the baseline, and it worked very well.”

During the encounter, Nadal fired 20 winners, committing only eight unforced errors while saving all four breakpoints he faced.

I think it has been a very positive match for me, and I have the chance to play again tomorrow, which means a lot to me,” the Manacor native added.

Next, the Spaniard will face another Australian player, Jordan Thompson, who advanced by walkover to the last eight. Earlier in the day, fourth seed Ugo Humbert withdrew from their matchup due to illness.

Previously, Thompson defeated the duo Nadal-Marc Lopez in doubles on December 31 in Brisbane, alongside countryman Max Purcell in a campaign that has led the pair to the quarterfinals.

In singles, the 29-year-old ousted Aleksandar Vukic 6-3, 6-2 in his first-round clash and now bids to overcome the 92-time ATP titlist to progress to the semifinals.

Gracing the hard courts with consistent performances and glimpses of brilliance, Nadal is enjoying his comeback journey. Grateful for the chance to return to play at a competitive level, he keeps focus on his priorities for a season that could be his last on tour.

I need matches, I need health, I need to keep practicing well, and of course, the past two matches here help, and even the doubles on the first day,” he commented post-match.

Of course, victories and hours spent on court help. For me, every day that I have the chance to play is great news, so I’m just happy for that, happy that I came back after a long time and feel competitive. Let’s see how far I can go.

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