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Rafael Nadal Madrid Open 2024 results: Tennis great ‘found a way’ to beat Cachin in thriller

Former world number one Rafael Nadal said he did not have “any concerns” about playing on successive days after spending more than three hours on court in a 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 over world number 91 Pedro Cachin at the Madrid Open.

In his second tournament since a brief return from injury in January, Nadal reached the round of 16 to set up a meeting with 30th seed Jiri Lehecka on Tuesday.

“That’s tennis,” the 37-year-old said when he was asked about the demands of the quick turnaround.

“I cannot have any concerns about playing tomorrow. That’s the way the tournament goes. I need to find a way to play days in a row and still be competitive.

“I don’t know if I am at that moment yet but let’s see tomorrow. I’m just happy to be on court again and, hopefully, ready.”

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The 37-year-old is the tournament’s most successful player with five titles, and fans are hoping the Spaniard will come through unscathed during what is expected to be his final year on the ATP tour because of recurring injury problems.

“I don’t feel that something went wrong on my body but I need to wait,” he added. “I am not saying that to try to protect myself, I am just saying what I am feeling.”

Nadal results: ‘I need to give more’

Nadal dropped a set for the first time in his third win, having beaten 10th seed Alex de Minaur in the second round on Saturday.

“Some moments were good, some not good,” he said. “I found a way to win through. In the first set, even with some mistakes, I was able to be a little bit more unpredictable.

“That probably changed the match. The opportunity to play again tomorrow means a lot and I know I need to give more.”

The 14-time French Open winner is hoping to play at Roland Garros when the second grand slam of the year starts next month.

Nadal said last week that he would not participate in Paris unless he felt he was in a position to “compete”.

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