Rafael Nadal wins his first tournament since returning from injury

On Saturday, Rafael Nadal described reaching the final as an “important comeback”

Rafael Nadal took the Melbourne Summer Set title in his first competitive tournament since August as the Spaniard prepares for the Australian Open.

World number six Nadal, who missed the end of the 2021 season with a foot injury, beat American qualifier Maxime Cressy 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

The 35-year-old 20-time major champion is preparing for the Australian Open, which begins on 17 January.

“It means a lot to be back and with a trophy in my hands,” Nadal said.

“I feel privileged and a very lucky guy to be here again. I am coming back from some challenging moments in terms of injuries, so I can’t be happier.”

It looked as though Cressy, who will now enter the world’s top 100 for the first time, was going to be the first player to take a set from Nadal at the Melbourne tournament.

The American had set point in the opener, but struggled with his serve and Nadal took advantage to take the first set before coming from a break down to seal victory in the second for his 89th tour title.

In Sydney, Canada won the ATP Cup for the first time after Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Denis Shapovalov had put Canada 1-0 up in the final with a 6-4 6-3 win against Pablo Carreno Busta and Auger-Aliassime sealed the title as he saw off the challenging Bautista Agut in two hours and 10 minutes.

In Adelaide, France’s Gael Monfils won his first title since February 2020 as he beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 6-4 6-4.

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