Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Rafael Nadal savours each victory more than ever after injuries

Rafael Nadal savours each victory more than ever after injuries

World number one Rafael Nadal responded to a simmering debate about the amount of tennis the top stars play, saying: "We are not 20 years old any more".

After outclassing Kyrgios in Sunday's China Open final, Nadal said the young Aussie has "a great future" in the sport and expects to see a lot more of him in the years to come.

The game was 3:6, 6:4, 1:6 in the semi-finals of the Beijing tournament, where a year ago the Bulgarian defeated the Spaniard in two sets on the 1/4-finals and reached the final.

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In the second set, Halep surrendered a 3-2 lead with a service break in the sixth game, but went on to break serve again in the ninth game. The title marks the 75th of Nadal's single career, making him the fifth man in the Open Era to hit that milestone (Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Roger Federer, John McEnroe).

Nadal, 31, the 16-time Grand Slam champion, revved up a gear against Isner to surge through the second-set tiebreak, although there was concern at one point during the set when he appeared to be suffering an eye problem. When I saw the draw at the beginning of the tournament, I knew that it will be very, very hard to have good chances here. "I think after 30 minutes we were only 2-1".

Lucas Pouille, seeded 15th in the event, opened his Shanghai Rolex Masters campaign with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Daniil Medvedev.

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"All I can tell you is the difference I feel inside now that I know how to channel my career -- the money, the publicity, the notoriety -- into something meaningful". I've played some great tennis but it wasn't to be today.

"Of course, some moments were a little bit odd for me, something a little bit unusual".

The boy died several months later and Kyrgios said he would never forget him. At 40-0 in the final game, Halep won with a clean forehand victor down the line. I tell you one, only one. I'm very excited for doubles obviously.' He still plans to play in Antwerp, Basel, Paris Masters and provided he qualifies, the World Tour Finals in London as well.

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Meanwhile, the players are all geared up for the next challenge. "We had a plan before the game and we stuck to it", de Matos said.

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