**Nadal Returns to Tennis with Impressive Win Over Thiem in Brisbane**
The King of Clay is back! After a year-long absence due to injury, Rafael Nadal made a triumphant return to competitive tennis with a dominant 6-4, 6-3 victory over Dominic Thiem in the first round of the Brisbane International on Tuesday.
Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, looked sharp and confident from the outset, dictating the tempo of the match with his trademark aggressive baseline play. His powerful forehand was on fire, and his relentless topspin proved too much for Thiem to handle.
**A Battle of Champions**
The first set was a tight affair, with both players holding serve until the ninth game. However, Nadal pounced on his first break point opportunity, converting it with a clinical forehand winner down the line. He then served out the set to love.
The second set was a similar story, with Nadal breaking Thiem’s serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Spaniard never looked back from there, closing out the match with another service hold to claim a well-deserved victory.
**Nadal Thrilled with his Return**
“I’m very happy to be back on the court,” Nadal said in his post-match interview. “It’s been a long time, and I was a little nervous before the match. But I’m happy with the way I played, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”
Nadal’s victory was a welcome sight for tennis fans around the world. The Spaniard has been plagued by injuries in recent years, but he has shown he still has the game to compete at the highest level.
**What’s Next for Nadal?**
Nadal is next scheduled to face eighth seed Aslan Karatsev in the second round of the Brisbane International. If he can continue his winning ways, he will be a strong contender for the title.
Nadal’s return to tennis is also a boost for the Australian Open, which starts on January 16. The Spaniard is a nine-time champion at the Grand Slam tournament, and he will be one of the favorites to lift the trophy this year.