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Rafael Nadal returns with doubles win in Melbourne

The Spaniard was back on court for the first time since he contracted Covid-19 at the recent Abu Dhabi exhibition event

Rafael Nadal and Jaume Munar, ATP 250 Melbourne 2022 Tennis – ATP 250 – Melbourne Summer Set – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 4, 2022 Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Jaume Munar react during their doubles match against Argentina’s Sebastian Baez and Tomas Martin Etcheverry || 216896_0014

ATP Melbourne Summer Set 2022 | Results | Draw Schedule

Rafael Nadal made a winning comeback to the ATP Tour as he and partner Jaume Munar won their first-round doubles match in the Melbourne Set on Tuesday.

The world No 6, off the Tour since August due to a foot injury he suffered at the French Open and who recently contracted Covid-19, thrilled the crowd on Court 13 at Melbourne Park as he and Munar beat Thomas Etcheverry and Sebastien Baez 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 in round one.

The 35-year-old Nadal, who will be gunning for a record 21st Grand Slam title later this month at the Australian Open, is the No 1 seed in the Melbourne Summer Set singles event.

The Spaniard, who played – and lost – both his singles matches at the recent exhibition event in Abu Dhabi – is due to take on either Marcos Giron or Ricardas Berankis in his second-round match, having been given a bye in the first round.

There remains doubt, though, about how far along Nadal is in his comeback and the former world No 1 is due to give a press conference after his practice on Wednesday.

But later, his press officer clarified things a little.

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