He used his past experience to defeat Ruusuvuori 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 56 minutes in the semi-final clash. This was the superstar’s first match since August 2021.
Ruusuvuori was under pressure in the first set, which ended with a double fault and an error on the forehand. When Ruusuvuori made another groundstroke error, Nadal broke clear for a 5-3 lead in the 69th minute of the second set, but the 22-year-old instantly recovered.
After regaining his composure, Nadal made a forehand error to end the match.
“It’s an important comeback after five months outside of competition and it means a lot to me to be back in Australia,” said Nadal, who last played at the Citi Open in August 2021.
“I need to do some things better on the court, but it’s step by step. My body is holding up, and that’s the main thing, and I need matches to get back to 100 percent. I know my tennis isn’t perfect, but it’s about being patient and doing my best,” he added.
After knocking out former World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in just two hours and four minutes, Cressy continued his dream run. After recovering from 3/6 in the second-set tie-break, Cressy went on to close the match out on his fourth match point. The 24-year-old is already assured of his place in the Top-100 of the ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday. 17 of his aces were aced and he saved all five breakpoints.
Having reached the final of the ATP Tour for the first time, Cressy is in his first major final. In addition to Rinky Hijikata, Reilly Opelka (including two match points saved), and Jaume Munar, he has also beaten other Australian qualifiers this week.
Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Aleksandr Nedovyesov, the sixth seeds, will face top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski on Sunday in the Melbourne doubles final.
Molchanov and Berankis were beaten 6-2, 6-4 in 57 minutes by Kolhof and Skupski, while Nedovyesov and Qureshi defeated Berankis and Molchanov 6-2, 6-2 in 68 minutes.