‘There is progress’: Nadal continues comeback to reach last 16 in Madrid | Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal continues to build the physical strength, intensity and form necessary to compete over five sets against the world’s best players at Roland Garros, but in a nervous and eventful match He held firm and took a new step towards his comeback. He advanced to the fourth round at the Madrid Open with a 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-3 victory over Pedro Cachin of Argentina.

Nadal, who started the tournament with plenty of uncertainty as he has been off the tour for most of the past 18 months due to various injuries, continues to make clear progress. Two days after seeing off No. 10 seed Alex de Minaur in the second round, Nadal maintained his intensity in the 3-hour, 4-minute battle with world No. 91 Kachin, raising the bar in the decisive moments of the final. . 3rd set.

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“Three and a half weeks ago, I was in Manacor, barely able to go out and move, losing to the academy players day in and day out,” Nadal said. “Now I’m with the Tour guys again. And a win. Progress is made and it has to be evaluated positively, no matter how small. Although I’m in a different position in my career. , I think we’ve built up to this point by valuing small improvements. I’m trying to do this process again, although it’s much more complex.”

All four men’s matches will be played on Tuesday, with Nadal facing a new big challenge as he recovers for his match against the talented 22-year-old Czech Jiri Lehechka, seeded 30th, at 10pm local time. confronting. Nadal said his body feels good, in contrast to his three-set match against Jordan Thompson in January, which led to an additional three-month layoff. Still, we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the morning.

“I don’t have the same negative emotions now, but you never know what will happen during the night and how you will wake up tomorrow morning,” Nadal said. “And that’s the truth, isn’t it? I’m not saying that because I want to protect myself. I’m speaking from my heart exactly how I feel right now. Let’s wait for tomorrow. What? I hope it doesn’t happen and I hope to be on the court tomorrow.”

Casper RudeFifth seed Cameron Norrie won 6-2, 6-4 on Monday night, ending 29th seed Cameron Norrie’s hopes of a breakthrough in Madrid. In the women’s raffle, Iga SwiatekShe defeated top seed Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1, 6-0 and advanced to the quarterfinals as the fourth seed. Elena Rybakina Defeated Sara Bezirek 6-1, 6-3.