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Other SportsNadal continues winning return to reach last eight in Brisbane

Nadal continues winning return to reach last eight in Brisbane

Rafael Nadal made it two wins from as many matches since returning from injury on Thursday, cruising into the Brisbane International quarter-finals with a straight-sets victory over Jason Kubler.

Nadal was in action for just the second time after missing almost a year with a hip injury, having marked an emotional return to the court by beating Dominic Thiem in straight sets on Tuesday.

The 22-time grand slam champion started as he meant to go on, breaking in each of Kubler’s first two service games and needing just one hour and 21 minutes to clinch a 6-1 6-2 win over the Australian.

The 37-year-old was handed a time violation between sets for taking too long during a bathroom break, but he showed no signs of rustiness in another impressive win, moving well throughout and winning 80 per cent of points behind his first serve.

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Nadal will face Kubler’s compatriot Jordan Thompson in the last eight on Friday as he steps up his preparations for the Australian Open, which begins on January 14.

Friday’s match against Thompson will represent Nadal’s first quarter-final at any event since Wimbledon 2022, when he beat Taylor Fritz in the last eight then was forced to withdraw ahead of his semi-final against Nick Kyrgios.

Thompson advanced to the last eight by virtue of a walkover on Thursday following Ugo Humbert’s withdrawal, while Grigor Dimitrov beat Daniel Altmaier and Rinky Hijikata overcame Tomas Machac in three sets.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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