Rafael Nadal had many exciting moments in the season behind us, winning two Majors despite injuries and setbacks. The Spaniard missed the second part of 2021 and made a perfect comeback in early 2022, capturing his first Australian Open crown since 2009.
Nadal faced Adrian Mannarino in the fourth round and won 7-6, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and 40 minutes. Adrian did his best to challenge Rafa in the first match, making it a tiebreaker and making it memorable! The Frenchman wasted four set points and lost it 16-14 after almost half an hour of roller coaster.
Nadal prevailed and received a huge boost that led to a one-sided scoreline in sets two and three. Mannarino dropped just a couple of points behind the opening shot in the first set and kept up the pressure on the other side.
Rafa faced a break point at 5-5 and saved it with a service winner to avoid the setback.
Rafael Nadal and Adrian Mannarino played a 30-minute tiebreaker in Melbourne.
A left-footed Frenchman fired a service winner in game 12 to introduce a tiebreaker that went down to the wire!
Nadal claimed three straight points from 4-2 and gained the lead with a service winner. The Spaniard won two set points on the tenth point with a brilliant forehand cross. The Frenchman stayed focused and saved both with a gutsy strike for 6-6.
Adrian saved another set point at 6-7 with an unreturned serve and squandered his chance at 8-7 after Rafa’s service winner. Nadal wasted two more set points at 10-9 and 11-10 before Mannarino won three chances at 12-11, 13-12 and 14-13.
Rafa erased them with winners to lengthen the battle. The Spaniard converted seventh set point at 15-14 after Adrián’s volley error into the net for a massive boost after one hour and 20 minutes! Nadal barely dropped a point behind the opening shot in set number two and broke in the first game to gain a sizable lead.
Rafa delivered another return game at 3-1 with a backhand winner and stayed in love with a forehand winner at 5-2 for a two-set lead. The Spaniard converted the fifth break chance early in the third set after a loose forehand from the Frenchman.
Mannarino hit a perfect game-winning lob in the second game for three break chances and converted his first after Nadal’s double fault. Rafa got three break chances in the third game and Adrian denied them with a good shot.
Mannarino denied two more break points before losing ground in the sixth to break after a wayward volley. Adrian double-faulted to lose serve in the fifth game to fall behind 4-1. Rafa hit a service winner in game six and served for the win at 5-2.
Nadal created three match points with a forehand winner and converted his first with an ace for a place in the quarterfinals.