Rafael Nadal beats Juan Monaco to reach Argentina quarterfinals [PHOTOS]

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning his match against Juan Monaco of Argentina at the ATP Argentina Open in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning his match against Juan Monaco of Argentina at the ATP Argentina Open in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

(AFP) – Rafael Nadal returned to action for the first time since his shock first-round exit from the Australian Open with a straight-sets win over Juan Monaco in the ATP Argentina Open.

Defending Buenos Aires champion Rafa wasn’t his sharpest self in the rematch of last year’s final.

He dropped his serve three times but broke Monaco in the final game of each set to emerge with a 6-4, 6-4 victory in one hour and 38 minutes.

He set up a quarter-final clash with Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi, a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 winner over Diego Schwartzman.

Monaco hadn’t played a tournament since having right wrist surgery last August.

But Rafa wasn’t able to build much momentum against him.

Monaco earned the first break of the second set en route to a 3-1 lead, and after breaking back for 3-3, Rafa was in trouble again with two double faults to trail 15-30 in the ninth game.

He held on, sealing the game with a trademark forehand winner down the line to force Monaco to serve to extend the match.

Source: AFP

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19 thoughts on “Rafael Nadal beats Juan Monaco to reach Argentina quarterfinals [PHOTOS]

  1. Move In Rafa Or Move On

    Same old, same old from Rafa. Many more unforced errors than winners. Not fully committing to his shots. Very poor balance, racquet acceleration & follow through. Very weak first serve with hardly any aces or service winners. No clear game plan. Extremely indecisive. Very poor shot selection. Had his serve BROKEN 3 TIMES by a journeyman who hadn’t played a tournament since August after having wrist surgery on his forehand wing. In the good old days, Rafa wins this match 6-1, 6-1. But not anymore. Rafa is 29, but is playing like he’s 39. All because he stubbornly, stupidly and selfishly refuses to change his coach. Proving once again the old proverb that “pride”, does indeed, “always goeth before a fall.”

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    1. Ivy

      What does Rafa’s refusal to get a new coach have to do with pride? He has always (and now is no exception) been extremely family oriented – putting relationships and loyalty to them above all else. While this might lead to a bad career choice, I don’t see how it reflects pride.

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      1. Move In Rafa Or Move On

        He’s too proud to admit that he’s WRONG about his coaching situation. He’s too proud to admit that he and his uncle do NOT know everything there is to know about tennis. He’s too proud to admit that he needs MORE help with his game than his team currently provides him. Capiche?!?!?

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      2. ilenesite

        Does Nadal really strike you that way? He has a history of learning and fixing and adapting his game. He was dubbed the king of clay and he wanted to be that and more so he figured our Federer on grass and won Wimbledon. Still he was no hard courter they said so he got really good at that and won Australia and US. This shows a willingness to admit he doesn’t know best. As for lack of humility, I just don’t see it. But you do and I respect your opinion, of course. Really no need for the “capiche.” It’s kind of prideful and condescending.

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      3. Move In Rafa Or Move On

        I never said that Rafa refuses to change anything. I only said that he refuses to change his COACH. “Capiche?” is simply a rhetorical flourish to amuse the readers and keep their attention. It’s not meant to be condescending or arrogant. Sorry if you felt that it was.

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  2. Did not see the match as not showing on to in Scotland but well done Rafa just keep working on it and it will get better and better for you he was probably very nervous after the AO loss but every win will give him more confidence !
    Good luck for your next match go win it

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  3. Glenda

    I saw the match. Rafa played good, but did not impress! to far behind the baseline!!!!! but I saw a more confident Rafa and a Rafa with a fighting spirit! Vamos campeon!

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  4. ashish

    what was good was after long time rafa showed a good defence which is his strength
    even when monaco was bomarding bombs from baseline

    Serve needs work ….but will come sooner

    Vamos rafa good luck for next match

    It was kind of match that in 2015 he would hve finished in 3 sets
    but now he closing out in 2 w/o tiebreak

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