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Rafael Nadal Triumphs in Barcelona Open Return

Barcelona: Tennis legend Rafael Nadal marked a triumphant return at the Barcelona Open, clinching victory against Italian Flavio Cobolli with a commanding 6-2, 6-3 win.

Nadal’s participation in the tournament marks just his second appearance of the year and his first since January, where he reached the quarterfinals of the ATP 250 in Brisbane.

Reflecting on his return, Nadal acknowledged the challenges of returning to competitive play, especially as he advances in age. “Every time it is more difficult and especially when you are at an advanced age, it makes things even tougher,” Nadal remarked, quoted by ATP tour.

“I’m going through tough moments but at the same time, when I’m able to be on Tour for a few days and practise with the guys and then be able to compete a little bit, it means a lot to me. Still enjoyable enough to keep going. I’m happy to start with a victory without a doubt,” he added.

The 37-year-old tennis maestro stepped onto the clay court for the first time since his historic 14th Roland Garros victory in 2022. His victory on Tuesday marked his 475th win on the surface, according to ATP reports.

In his upcoming match, Nadal is set to face fourth seed Alex de Minaur, a player he leads 3-1 in their ATP head-to-head series.

Nadal boasts an impressive 67-4 match record at the ATP 500, where he claimed his first title in 2005 and most recently emerged victorious in 2021.

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