Sydney, Australia, Jan 5 (EFE).- Spaniard tennis star Rafael Nadal was eliminated Friday by Australian Jordan Thompson 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Brisbane tournament after losing three match points and having to take a medical break.
“The pain was in an area similar to where I had surgery last year, but different. Like more muscular. Last year it was the tendon and this is more like a tired muscle,” Nadal explained, adding that “the only problem” is that because the pain is in the same area of the hip “that makes me more worried than usual.”
Nadal underwent surgery on June 2 after injuring his psoas iliacus on Jan. 18 while competing in the second round of the Australian Open. The Brisbane International is the first time the 37-year-old competes in a year.
“Hopefully it’s nothing major and I’ll have a chance to train next week and play in Melbourne. But right now I’m not 100 percent sure,” he said.
The former world number one lost on Friday after an intense match lasting three hours and 25 minutes, in which he started very focused but came up against a solid opponent who gained strength and confidence as the match progressed.
Both players began by comfortably winning their respective service games, especially the Mallorcan, who broke 11 first serves in a row early on.
Thompson made it clear from the start that he was going to offer more resistance than his compatriot Jason Kubler had the day before, playing aggressive tennis that at times overwhelmed the Spaniard.
The Mallorcan won the first set 7-5 after a 70-minute battle.
The physical condition of the Spaniard was an unknown after his long absence from the circuit, but up to that point he did not seem to mind the intensity of the match in the sweltering humidity of Brisbane.
The second set went to a tie-break, which the Spaniard seemed to dominate on several occasions, but was wasted as his opponent improved his game to win with a brilliant offensive game.
The latter stages of the match raised concerns about the Mallorcan’s physical condition, as he had to be treated for hip discomfort late in the third set after losing his serve to Thompson.
After the treatment, Nadal was more solid on serve but was unable to trouble the local idol, who reached the semifinals of the tournament for the first time.
“This is all part of the process after a long time without competing and credit is due to Jordan Thompson, who had a great game, and good for him. As for me, I’m just going to keep getting better,” Nadal told reporters after the game.
“If it’s just that, an overload, then it will have been a very positive week. If not, it won’t have been so positive,” he concluded Thompson will face Bulgarian Gregor Dimitrov in the semifinals, while the other match of the penultimate round will be played by Norwegian Holger Rune and Russian Roman Safiullin. EFE