One hundred and fifty-three days after the defeat against Lloyd Harris in Washington, Rafael Nadal comes back to play an official match on the ATP Tour. The result - as in the vast majority of cases - is positive. Having resolved the doubts about his physical condition in Abu Dhabi (despite the defeats), the very Spanish champion returns with the right attitude, dominates for a set and a half before and hesitates only in the final part.
Understandably, given the circumstances. Among other things, Ricardas Berankis proves to be the perfect opponent: regular, devoid of decisive blows, just discreet with the available serve. Nadal applies the most consolidated schemes during the opening fraction, needless to say he looks for the forehand in an almost obsessive way and above all tries to keep the Lithuanian away from the baseline.
The plan, which works perfectly up to 6-2 5-2 as per protocol, gets complicated just near the finish line. Obviously deprived of responsibility from the scoring situation, Berankis lets go of his arm and called to respond to stay in the match, he draws a handful of jokers from the deck.
Not bad: Nadal flirts again with the break at 5-4 and evidently also avoids the jeu decisif. The winning hook that translates into a very rocky 6-2 7-5 is worth the quarterfinal challenge with the winner of the match between Popyrin and Griekspoor.
David Goffin's misstep, beaten in two sets by Alex Molcan, is not included in the block of surprises. After breaking down Andy Murray's stamina on the debut, Facundo Bagnis 'bows' instead to a very good Grigor Dimitrov.
However, he was called to make up a set and a break from behind. Gianluca Mager leaves the scene in Adelaide, beaten in three sets by Egor Gerasimov.
WTA Adelaide and Melbourne: Swiatek and Halep do not stop
In the women's draw Iga Swiatek continues to grind victories.
She defeated Fernandez, who has practically time to collect three games. After Paula Badosa, Viktoria Azarenka instead notes in the notebook of the victims during the week in Adelaide Priscilla Hon. She has just returned from the extraordinary victory against Petra Kvitova.
In Melbourne (Summer Set 1) the march of 'number one' Simona Halep continues without any particular hitches. From 6-4 6-2 with Destanee Alave the Romanian goes to a much more convincing 6-2 6-1 against countrywoman Elena Gabriela Ruse.
On the other hand, Jasmine Paolini's adventure does not go beyond the second round, who does not take advantage of a set advantage against Irina Camelia Begu and who between the second and third fractions retains her service only on three occasions.