‘Not a Bad Game’: Rafael Nadal Remains Optimistic After Straight Sets Loss to Andy Murray at Mubadala World Tennis Championships

Published 12/17/2021, 1:20 PM EST
MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain shakes hands at the net after his straight sets victory against Rafael Nadal of Spain in the mens final during day nine of the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica on May 10, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


It has been so long since Andy Murray played any of his past competitors such as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. During the phenomenal the Brit enjoyed during the latter part of this year’s ATP tour, Murray got to face a lot of youngsters and used his experience to squeeze out some wins.

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Now, the 2016 Wimbledon champion faced Nadal during an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi. The duo last met each other during the semi-finals at Mutual Madrid Open in 2016.

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Rafael Nadal lost to Murray in his comeback match at Mubadala World Tennis Championships

Nadal is coming off from a foot injury treatment and is treating this exhibition as a testing pad for his upcoming stint at Australia. Murray, on the other hand, comes off a bit fresh as he had a lot of match practice towards the latter end of the ATP season.

Putting his recent form to good effect, the British star maintained consistency on serve and remained aggressive on the forehand throughout the contest. Nadal, however, struggled initially but produced a couple of his trademark shots (forehand down the line with an open stance, for instance).

Aug 3, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a forehand during a practice session at the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Murray’s aggression ensured a defeat to Nadal as the Spaniard bowed out in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5. After the match, both iconic players got together to speak about the experience of facing each other.

Happy to have played. I’m very happy to see Andy playing at a great level”, said the Spaniard.

Murray also took privilege in being the opponent for Nadal’s comeback match.

I’m happy to be here and for Rafa’s return”. 

Nadal was optimistic over his performance against Andy

In the end, Nadal expressed satisfaction for his overall performance considering it’s his first match since four months.

It was not a bad game for me considering how long I was without playing”. 

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Despite it being an exhibition match, both the champions managed to enthrall the fans with top-notch tennis. This victory might add to the confidence of Andy Murray as he is hopeful of a prolonged success on the ATP tour next year, starting with Australia.

Coming to Nadal, he will have another match tomorrow against Denis Shapovalov to come to some kind of conclusion over the status of his recovery. In all likelihood, Nadal will fly to Australia to test his luck in Melbourne.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

729 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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