Nadal wins the first round in Madrid over Blanche

Rafa defeated 16-year-old Darwin Blanch in just over an hour (6-1, 6-0). Now De Minaur, who lost to him a few days ago in Barcelona, ​​is waiting for him: “It's been a week, I'm better now.”

The veteran won the game of emotion and scoring with ease. In a generational duel between 37-year-old Rafael Nadal and 16-year-old Darwin Blanche, the champion's exhausted body overcame the teenager's nerves, in his second Masters 1000 match.

64 minutes

The boy would undoubtedly do it, but the man of the eighties still did not want to give up, he had not lost the habit of fighting and buried him mercilessly in 64 minutes, leaving him only one game: 6 -1, 6-0.

The twentieth post

The Estadio Manolo Santana was nearly full to its 12,000 seats for this poignant first round of Nadal's final dance in Madrid. The 20th tournament began for the tennis player who has won here the most times, 5 times, and the first time was in 2004, three years before Darwin was born.


Huge anticipation and, if we are to say, minimal disappointment, because after opening with two aces, the boy from Florida who lived halfway around the world and spoke Chinese and Thai succumbed to emotion. Lots of unforced errors and the game quickly shifted towards the Balearic Islands.


Some beautiful shots were appreciated by the audience, but Blanche, dressed as a ball boy, was never able to shake off the pressure of what was a historic day for him. Rafa looked focused, compared to Barcelona, ​​where he was serving a little more aggressively, 160 to 180 kilometers per hour, more or less, and above all he looked fiercely determined. Today was enough, the future is not certain.

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The bogeyman

Yes, because Rafa now meets Alex de Minaur, the Australian from Spain who knocked him out in Barcelona last week, and who also bested him in January 2023 in Australia. Rafa, upon his return after more than 100 days of inactivity in Barcelona, ​​beat Copoli, but lost 7-5 and 6-1 to De Minaur. “He is a tough competitor and was performing very well at the beginning of the season – said Nadal in front of the adoring crowd – but a week has passed and I feel better. My desire to perform well is still there, and we will see if that is enough.”

No development

I will answer the day after tomorrow, but in the meantime Rafa played his 6th match in 2024, and in 2023 he stopped at 5. The indomitable Rafa does not give up, and the Madrid fans are ready to support him in his last battle. Today did not help, Darwin did not accelerate the development of tennis species, Saturday will be another story. The pace of the final dance quickens.

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