Home Australia Nadal sets up de Minaur rematch after taking down American 21 years younger than him

Nadal sets up de Minaur rematch after taking down American 21 years younger than him

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Nadal sets up de Minaur rematch after taking down American 21 years younger than him

Alex de Minaur has been given the opportunity to achieve what would once have been considered a “mission impossible”: eliminating Rafael Nadal from two Spanish clay court tournaments in successive weeks.

De Minaur defeated Nadal in the second round in Barcelona last week, and will try to do the same in Madrid after the 22-time major winner gave a rather brutal lesson to 16-year-old American wild card Darwin Blanch.

Nadal, still returning from his injury and with doubts about whether he will reach a French Open final, effectively treated the match as a training exercise as he crushed the green teenager, who was making only his second appearance on the tour. 6-1, 6-0 in 64 unilateral minutes.

Their mismatch also featured the largest age gap (21 years and 117 days) in the history of ATP Masters 1000 matches, but Nadal offered a faint smile as he reflected on what will be a much more imposing encounter against De Minaur in the second round. of Saturday.

In Barcelona eight days ago, De Minaur beat the 37-year-old Nadal 7-5, 6-1 on the court named in his honour, and the five-time Madrid winner is happy to savor his return to the Caja Mágica. – Magic Box – play one last time before hanging up the racket.

“I just try to enjoy every moment. Tomorrow, one more day of practice here, and the day after tomorrow, back on the court. That makes me feel great,” Nadal said.

“I think today I played against an opponent with a great future ahead of them. I just tried to be there, be solid all the time without taking too many risks.

“It worked well. I’m happy to be done and I wish you [Blanch] All the best for the future.”

De Minaur and 32nd seed Jordan Thompson, who enjoyed a bye in the first round, will be joined by another Sydney player in the second round after Max Purcell enjoyed an excellent comeback victory over American Marcos Girón 4-6 , 6-4, 7-6. 7/2).

In the next round, he will face 25th-ranked American Sebastian Korda, brother of professional golfer Nelly, who is on a five-game winning streak on the LPGA.

Hopes of further Australian interest in the second round of the men’s draw in Madrid were dashed when Chris O’Connell was defeated by Matteo Arnaldi 6-4, 6-1.

Lucky loser Daria Saville is the only Australian in the women’s draw and faces a second round clash with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

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