Rafael Nadal did not forget to play tennis during the coronavirus pandemic. The spanish immediately showed his class in his first game since March 1 by beating his compatriot Pablo Carreño Busta in two sets at the master tournament in Rome: 6-1, 6-1.
Carreño Busta was in the US Open semifinals five days ago, where he lost to Alexander Zverev in five sets after two sets and a break.
On the Roman gravel, however, Carreño had little to contribute against Nadal. The titleholder and nine-time tournament winner in Rome was dominant in the rallies and defeated Carreño for the sixth time in six games.
Nadal recently missed the US Open due to the corona-andemic and will focus on Roland Garros, which will start in Paris on 27 September.
During the first set there was a remarkable moment: the referee asked the spectators – there is no audience in Rome – not to shoot with flash light. Initiator turned out to be Goran Ivanisevic, the coach of Novak Djokovic, who was busy in the stands with his phone and did not seem to notice that the torch of his mobile phone was on.
Djokovic, who was disqualified at the US Open in the quarter-finals against Carreño Busta, defeated Italian Salvatore Caruso earlier in the day in his first gravel game of the season: 6-3, 6-2.