Rafael Nadal’s return to tennis has been a good one so far. In his first event since the summer, the former No. 1 is into the Melbourne final after dispatching Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 7-5.
“It’s an important comeback after five months outside of competition and it means a lot to me to be back in Australia,” said Nadal. “I need to do some things better on court, but it’s step by step.
“My body is holding up, and that’s the main thing, and I need matches to get back to 100%. I know my tennis isn’t perfect, but it’s about being patient and doing my best.”
Standing in the path of Nadal’s 89th career title will be surprise American qualifier Maxime Cressy. The 24-year-old who made noise at the US Open stunning Pablo Carreno Busta, used his powerful serve-and-volley game to reach his first ATP final edging Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6(9).
“I’m very pleased with my tennis,” said Cressy. “Nothing happens by luck. I’m very proud of myself for staying focused the whole tournament so far. I played incredible today.”
The 112th-ranked Cressy has wins over Reilly Opelka, Jaume Munar and now Dimitrov.
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