Nadal Navigates Tricky Cachin Matchup To Reach Last 16 At Madrid Open

Nadal Navigates Tricky Cachin Matchup To Reach Last 16 At Madrid Open

by Zachary Wimer

After winning in two sets in two matches, Rafael Nadal hit a roadblock, but he overcame it to reach the fourth round of the 2024 Madrid Open.

The Spaniard is slowly coming into his own because he's looking more and more stable. This match against Pedro Cachin wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he was once again able to win it, which is most important.

He also had to play a third set for the first time in months, and he looked decently fresh. Cachin was giving him a proper battle—at least he did in the second set—and he held his own pretty well.

The start of the match was spectacular for the 22-time major winner, as he trashed his opponent easily, needing just seven games to do so, winning the set 6-1.

The second set would prove more complicated as the Argentinian player slowly overcame the nerves and started to play really well. He aggressively used the altitude to his advantage, putting Nadal on the defensive side more than once.

It was particularly impressive in the second-set tie-break, which he won with a spectacular return winner, winning the tie-break 7-5. However, the final set wouldn't open well for Cachin, as Nadal broke him in the first game, after which he confirmed it with a solid service game.

Finding inspiration to fight back from down 0-2 would prove rather tough, as the home crowd hero upped the intensity even more. Nadal certainly looked disinterested in prolonging this rather long match more than he needed to, but it didn't quite work out for him.

Despite having chances to go up 3-0, Nadal gave the break back to his opponent, with the score being tied at 3-3. Still, he broke once more and, this time around, held his nerve to win the match 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3.

His tennis hasn't looked superb so far this week, but at moments, Nadal of old appeared. It will certainly take him a little while to get there, but wins like the one over Alex de Minaur and this one certainly help.


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