Nadal and Djokovic are back

The Foro Italico in Rome hosted two expected returns. Rafa, after a 200-day break due to the pandemic. And Nole, after his pitch to a linesman.


The Foro Italico in Rome hosted two expected returns on Wednesday, two centers of attention with worldwide projection. In the morning session, Novak Djokovic returned to competition after the involuntary but reckless hit of a linesman that led to his disqualification from the US Open in the round of 16. He beat Salvatore Caruso 6-3 and 6-2 in one hour and 24 minutes. In the afternoon session, Rafael Nadal returned to play an official match after a 200-day break due to the pandemic, almost seven months after that February 29 in which he lifted the Acapulco title. He beat Pablo Carreño, a brand new semifinalist in the American Grand Slam, 6-1 and 6-1 in one hour and 14 minutes. They were two unexpectedly comfortable victories, which confirm that world numbers one and two continue with their sharp teeth, which puts on the horizon the reissue of the final that both played last year, with the triumph of the Balearic, when the clay season It was celebrated on its usual spring dates and the planet could not imagine the terrible blow it was going to receive in 2020.

Djokovic's victory was a liberation and a vindication for the Serbian. The formula for moving forward is not looking back. In his case, he already knew that he had a good pace, after winning in Cincinnati and competing in New York, and that he could only betray his head. That good rhythm was also assumed for Carreño, after touching the US Open final, but he found the opposite, with his legs blocked and accumulated fatigue. The best way to overcome it is not to face the king of the earth, so the duel was reduced to the first two games, in which he had a break option. The great question that floated in the Forum has already been answered: Nadal has returned like a cyclone to his home in Rome. They are both here again. Rafa and Nole. The sport appreciates it.

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